Messaging App Telegram gains $150mn from Mubadala & Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Abu Dhabi-based state-owned investment company Mubadala has partnered with Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners to collectively invest $150 million in cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging service Telegram.

Both Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners will invest $75 million each in 5-year pre-IPO convertible bonds of the encrypted messaging service.

Brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov initially launched Telegram as a secure messaging app utilizing end-to-end encryption in 2013. The service has now evolved into a fully-fledged social media platform with global headquarters in the UAE.

Telegram is one of the 10 most downloaded apps in the world which boasts of 500 million+ active users every month.

Sharing his view on Mubadala’s investment in Telegram, Mr. Faris Sohail Faris Al Mazrui, Head of Mubadala’s Russia and CIS Investment Programme remarked that “We recognize and admire Pavel’s vision for the company and the team’s execution in building an exceptional product and company. His unwavering focus on user experience and privacy, and how it is central to every business decision he makes, is one of the keys to Telegram’s popularity and success. Telegram’s user base has reached a critical mass that places it amongst global tech giants.”

“We believe that Telegram is well-positioned for an inflection point that will transform it into a leading global technology company. The company represents a very promising investment opportunity for Mubadala and will sit well within our wider portfolio of pioneering companies looking to transform their respective industries. Our investment in Telegram establishes a strategic partnership for us to further strengthen Abu Dhabi’s technology ecosystem as well as bring new levels of tech skills and talent to the capital,” Mr. Al Mazrui added.

Telegram’s Founder and CEO, Mr. Pavel Durov added that “We are honored by the US$150 million investment into Telegram from Mubadala and Abu Dubai Catalyst Partners. We look forward to developing this strategic partnership to continue our growth in the MENA region and globally.”

Over the past 12 months, Mubadala has been making global technology investments across several platforms such as autonomous driving technology company Waymo, AliExpress and Indian technology company Jio Platforms.

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