Messaging platform Telegram has raised over $1 billion through bond sales to multiple investors.
The funding was announced by the platform’s founder Pavel Durov on March 23, 2021, although he did not divulge more on the specific investors.
Through his channel, Durov said the money was raised by some of the largest and most knowledgeable investors globally. He adds that the funds would be used to help roll out expansion plans for the messaging app.
“This will enable Telegram to continue growing globally while sticking to its values and remaining independent. These resources will also fuel the monetization strategy I outlined in December,” said Durov.
UAE investors lead Telegram’s funding
The funding round includes a combined $150 million investment by Mubadala Investment Co and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners. Telegram is also expanding its United Arab Emirates presence by opening new offices in Abu Dhabi.
Mubadala Investment, a state investor, said the partnership between the companies is expected to create new collaboration opportunities and expand Abu Dhabi’s tech-enabled companies’ ecosystem. Over the recent years, Mubadala has been expanding its focus on the technology sector, including autonomous driving technology.
The investment comes after Telegram registered a surge in popularity to 500 million active users monthly. The growth was partly due to privacy concerns by Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
With the popularity, costs of maintaining Telegram services have also increased. Durov has stressed that the company plans to remain independent but generate revenue through initiatives like paid premium features and selling advertisements in public Telegram channels.