Encrypted messaging platform Telegram has raised $210 million from several investors via bond sales. The investors include its founder and CEO, Pavel Durov.
The fund raise comes as Telegram is still not profitable amid the economic downturn where funding is scarce.
John Hyman, Telegram Chief Investment Adviser, told TechCrunch that the platform raised the capital by issuing bonds worth $270 million because “interest rates have gone up significantly since 2021, the bonds have a different issue price”.
A set of “well-known funds with stellar reputations” purchased the bonds, according to Durov.
Durov said he personally bought about a quarter of the new Telegram bonds, investing “tens of millions into Telegram’s growth.”
Telegram Messenger is one of the top-5 most downloaded apps in the world. In Summer 2022, it passed 700 million monthly active users. The company is based in Dubai.
The encrypted messaging platform last year announced a paid subscription on its platform that costs around $5 (about Rs 400) a month.
The platform added over 300 million users in the past two and a half years.
Last month, Durov introduced a new ‘Stories’ feature and said it will be available in early July.
“For years, our users have been asking us to implement Stories in Telegram. More than half of all feature requests that we receive are related to Stories,” Durov posted on his Telegram channel.
Users will be able to choose who can see their stories with granular precision — Everyone, only their contacts (with exceptions), a few selected contacts or a list of Close Friends.
Users will also be able to hide stories posted by any contact by moving them to the ‘Hidden’ list in the Contacts section instead of the main screen.