Investments

Telegram Set To Break ICO Record At $850M

As it seeks to build a payment platform using the blockchain, Telegram Group Inc. is tripling the price of coins in its initial coin offering (ICO). Overall, the offering could raise more than $2.5 billion, Bloomberg reported.

According to two anonymous potential investors, the coins – dubbed “Grams” – are being sold for $1.33 each in a round that could close in March. By comparison, Telegram offered the coins at $0.37 each in the previous round, which was geared toward larger investors.

While Telegram was able to raise $850 million in an earlier stage, two sources familiar with the offering told Bloomberg that it might be able to raise another $850 million through the second stage.

"Grams" may be priced at $2.40 in a later round, according to one of the potential investors. Overall, the size of the entire ICO could reach $2.55 billion, exceeding a target of $2 billion reported by Bloomberg in January.

The news comes about a month after three big Silicon Valley venture capital firms said they want to invest in Telegram’s initial coin offering (ICO), Financial Times reported.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark and Sequoia Capital have each told the messaging startup that they want to invest $20 million, according to three individuals familiar with the deal. Sequoia and Kleiner declined to comment, and Benchmark did not respond to requests for comment from Financial Times at the time of the article's writing.

Telegram, an encrypted messaging service, is seeking $1.2 billion to build a virtual economy within its mobile app. According to individuals interviewed by Financial Times, the company plans to build a virtual economy where its “users can provide the critical mass to push cryptocurrencies toward widespread adoption.”

Some investors, however, aren’t enthusiastic about the offering. A San Francisco cryptocurrency investor told the paper that the company’s plans were “hyperbolic claims” and a “huge red flag.”

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