Telegram raises $850 million in ICO, the world’s biggest ICO yet

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February 20, 2018
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Telegram is a Russian-backed popular encrypted messaging service just like WhatsApp. The app came under scrutiny when it was removed by Apple from App Store for spreading “inappropriate content” involving children. Meanwhile, the app is still banned in Pakistan. However, these fatigues weren’t able to stop Telegram to shatter the ICO record for biggest crowdfunding campaign of all time. According to a recent filing, the popular messenger app has already raised $850 million out of an expected $2 billion.

The news first broke out last month, when Coindesk reported that Telegram is seeking to raise $1.2 billion in ICO. The company has recently disclosed an amount of $850 million in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The document indicates that the funds are being used “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes described in the offering materials.”

According to a previously leaked document, the TON is a blockchain platform for peer-to-peer funds transferring between users and to make purchases. TON will be directly functional with Telegram’s messaging app, created back in 2013, which is also a Russian equivalent of Facebook.

The $850 million figure matches an earlier estimate of the total amount Tether intends to raise via private sale. Based on the same estimates, the company plans to raise an additional $1.15 billion via public crowdsale. A firm date for the sale is still unknown.

Funding is expected to help Telegram expand its operations and devote more resources to development. Roughly half a billion dollars will be allocated toward infrastructure costs, such as data center, equipment, and bandwidth. An additional $120 million will go toward staff, legal and office fees.

The amount raised by Telegram easily shatters the ICO record previously set by Tezos, which raised $232 million. The only other coin projects to raise more than $200 million are Filecoin and Bancor.

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