This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following Telegram. One of the fastest growing messaging / social media platforms in the world is poised to top $1.7 billion with its initial coin offering. This is according to a recent report in Bloomberg that apparently had access to people with inside knowledge.
Crowdfund Insider reported last month that Telegram had filed a Form D 506c with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The document indicated that $850 million had already been raised from just 81 investors. Think about that for a second. This coin offering has garnered an average investment of $10.5 million per investor. Now, the ICO is in round two. Reportedly with a higher token price as the ICO continues into its third month with whales fighting to join in.
Telegram is the hottest ICO of 2018 and, from what we have heard, competition is fierce to participate. So does Telegram merit such a lofty valuation?
That is a tough question to answer but founder and CEO Pavel Durov shared this past week that Telegram has now topped 200 million monthly users. In February, we reported Telegram had 180 million users.
“We owe reaching this milestone to you alone – our users. We have never promoted Telegram with ads, so all these 200 million people are on Telegram because you invited them to join. This is why you – our users – have been and will always be our only priority. Unlike other popular apps, Telegram doesn’t have shareholders or advertisers to report to. We don’t do deals with marketers, data miners or government agencies. Since the day we launched in August 2013 we haven’t disclosed a single byte of our users’ private data to third parties. We operate this way because we don’t regard Telegram as an organization or an app. For us, Telegram is an idea; it is the idea that everyone on this planet has a right to be free.”
Durov’s comments are a refreshing difference from the likes of Facebook that has become a cesspool of indifference when it comes to its user experience. By using Facebook, you are the product and Facebook sells access to your photos, location, preferences etc. Facebook pretty much sucks. But no worries, only old people use Facebook. With alternatives like Telegram moving quickly to fill the demand for a better experience of sharing information online, hopefully Facebook will become the next MySpace. The sooner, the better.
Facebook is valued at approximately $217 per user (at approximately 2.13 billion monthly users that may be real or fake and a market cap of $463B). If you extrapolate that data point for a second, Telegram may be valued at $4.3 billion today. Of course, this does not take into consideration its growth, and forthcoming new features. Not too long ago, Telegram said it was adding 500,000 new users daily.
According to the leaked TON White-paper, forthcoming features are expected to include a digital wallet, DApps, KYC-AML and much more.
So what can stand in the way of Durov and Telegram’s Blockchain based social media platform? It has been widely reported that Telegram lost a court case in Russia to hand over its encryption keys to the Russian Federal Security Service or FSB (IE the reconstituted KGB. Different name, same thug like demeanor). Durov is apparently going to appeal the decision all the way to the Russian Supreme Court. But even if he wins, Russian President for life Vladimir Putin has a way of convincing people … Regardless, Telegram may be the Facebook killer the world needs.
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