Telegram is the chat channel of choice for ICO and cryptocyrrency fans., so it is perhaps unsurprising that it has already raised an initial $850 million in its pre-sale stage, as part of its billion dollar ICO.
The company filed a document with the United States’ SEC confirming that the money raised is to be used “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes.”
Investors in the pre-sale were largely venture capital firms and large investors who received significant discounts in order to attract them. According to Bloomberg, the target figure was originally $600 million, but demand pushed the end figure up to $850 million. Bloomberg has also previously suggested that the public sale component will expand to $1.15 billion, bringing the total raised to nearly $2 billion if successful.
It is big news, because this is going to be the biggest ICO to date judging by the pre-sale figure. According to Tokendata statistics, if the Telegram ICO goes as anticipated and raises over even one billion, the second largest ICO –for Filecoin–only raised a mere $257 million. And Tezos, hyped as one of the most successful ICOs at the time, is in third place with $232 million.
To date, Telegram has been privately funded by its inventors, brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov. The two Russians had previously set up VKontakte, the Russian answer to facebook, but had to leave their home country after a clash with investors.
The demand for telegram tokens is undoubtedly due to its unique position within the crypto community. Its messaging app is used by the majority of ICO projects, with its group feature particularly popular with crypto watchers. The Durov brothers have announced plans to develop Telegram’s services and deliver distributed file storage, a proxy service for creating decentralised VPNs and micropayments services amongst other things. It has already introduced new versions of its messaging apps for Android and iOS. Will the Telegram ICO be the biggest in 2018? We’ll have to wait and see.