Mubadala, ADCP invest $150 mn in WhatsApp rival Telegram

 Mubadala, ADCP invest $150 mn in WhatsApp rival Telegram

Mubadala Investment Company, a sovereign wealth fund of the UAE, and the Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners have invested $150 million in messaging app Telegram.

Mubadala and ADCP will make the investment via five-year pre-IPO convertible bonds. The two entities will invest $75 million each in the WhatsApp rival.

ADCP is a joint venture between Mubadala and Falcon Edge Capital, a US-based investment company.

“Telegram’s user base has reached a critical mass that places it amongst global tech giants,” Mubadala executive Faris Sohail Faris al-Mazrui said in a statement. “Telegram is well-positioned for an inflexion point that will transform it into a leading global technology company.”

The investment comes even as Telegram and messaging app Signal have been gaining users across the world following privacy concerns around WhatsApp.

Telegram had more than 500 million users as of January, its founder Pavel Durov said on his channel on Tuesday.

Mubadala, which has been focussing on tech investments of late, had invested $1.2 billion in Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd’s digital services arm Jio Platforms Ltd last year.

James Munce, CFO and COO of Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, said Telegram has grown from zero to 500 million monthly active users over the past seven years.

“This demonstrates the management team’s unshakeable dedication to building a platform centered around privacy and user experience. We believe this creates a strong value proposition and will be a focal point for social media platforms and a new era of messaging,” Munce said.

Telegram, already headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, will open an office in Abu Dhabi following the new investment, Mubadala said.

Aman Malik

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