Dubai-based Telegram Group, an encrypted-messaging service has recently raised $850 million from selling rights to virtual coins, is increasing the price to three times in its next funding round, as per the people familiar with the matter.
The Telegram tokens it’s developing for users, called Grams, are being sold at $1.33 each in the new round that may close in early March, stated two strong investors who declined to be identified, citing confidentiality agreement with the company.
This compares with about $0.37 price in the previous round focused at larger investors.
A victorious sale would advance the prospects for Telegram, which focuses to challenge rivals from WhatsApp to credit card companies, after an earlier stage funded $850 million from 81 investors, according to a regulatory filing.
The second stage may also invest $850 million, according to one of the people and a different investor.
The total size of Telegram ICO may extend upto $2.55 billion since another sale to smaller investors is looming, Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper described on Wednesday.
This is beyond the target of $2 billion mentioned by Bloomberg News in January. The later stage may be priced at $2.40, one of the potential investors told Bloomberg, refusing to elaborate on its size.
Pavel Durov, Telegram founder, is creating a payment platform using multi-blockchain architecture that could compete with Visa Inc. or Mastercard, getting digital assets to the mainstream, as per the offering proposals.
The St. Petersburg native has separated himself from Russia after restitricting demands from the security services to decrypt users’ communications and ceding his VK.com social network to billionaire Alisher Usmanov. Durov did not instantly comment to Bloomberg News.
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