Telegram raises $1 billion but struggles to find its business model

A cumbersome investor

In the midst of a boom, the popular encrypted messaging service just announced that it has just issued $1 billion in bonds to refinance its debt and boost its growth. On his public channel on Telegram, Pavel Durov – boss and co-founder – claimed that these bonds were placed with “ some of the largest and most knowledgeable investors in the world”

Notably, among them, Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners announced that it had participated in the “round” for an amount of $150 million. This structure is a joint venture formed by Mubadala Development Company – the Abu Dhabi state fund – and New York hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital.

More embarrassing for Telegram: Russia’s state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), controlled by the Kremlin, also claims to have participated in the mandatory issuance, while Moscow gave in June to ban the encrypted application at the end of a conflict lasting more than two years. takes years. Which Pavel Dourov vehemently denied. † We would not be open to any kind of trading with this fund.” assured the group. Read the full article in Les Echos

Expensive growth

There is a real paradox in the success of the application that Pavel Dourov created in 2013. It is really successful and could even reach a billion users by the end of 2022, thus becoming a real competitor to Facebook. However, the platform has never really found an economic model and generates relatively little revenue.
According to its leader, it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year to run Telegram. He recently explained on this topic: In doing so, we remain independent and true to our values, redefining the way a technology company operates.”

To take this gamble, the company is therefore betting on a double strategy: issuing bonds to investors and the imminent arrival of advertisements on the courier service. This idea, appealing on paper, is anything but obvious. It seems quite difficult to convince advertisers to associate their image with a platform whose reputation is sometimes sulphurous. Thus, Telegram is said to have recently been joined by far-right activists, after their gradual banishment from major social networks. Read the article on Presse Citron

A business model in development

These new financial resources will make it possible to monetization strategy of the company announced last December. The messaging system had indicated it would launch paid services from 2021 to fund its growth, following the failure of a fundraiser and virtual currency project. The announcement comes as the number of new users of Telegram, which is known for its high level of encryption, has been steadily rising for several months.

In mid-January, Pavel Dourov had announced the gain of 25 million users in a few days, more than 500 million in total, following the announcement of the competing application WhatsApp to share more data with its Facebook parent company. Read the full article in Business Insider

Develop new features to compete with Discord

It is now possible for users of the social network Telegram to record audio conversations. It is one of the options present in the latest update of the application that also has hand-held mechanisms for meetings, invitation links for speakers and listeners, voice chat titles and a way for public figures to join voice chats as channels.

As for unlimited voice chats, channel and public group admins can now host voice chats for millions of live listeners. As popular as a conference is, new people can join. For Telegram, this option presents itself as public radio reinvented for the 21st century. Read the full article on Digital Business Africa

Leave a Comment