Telegram funding

Mubadala invested $75 million in five-year, pre-initial public offering (IPO) bonds of messaging app Telegram, while Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners invested an additional $75 million.

In a statement, Mubadala executive Faris Sohail Faris al-Mazrui said, “Telegram’s user base has reached a critical mass that places it amongst global tech giants.”

“Telegram is well-positioned for an inflection point that will transform it into a leading global technology company,” he added.

Telegram, along with messaging app Signal, has seen a rise in users this year amid concerns regarding privacy with larger rival Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

Telegram was founded in 2013 by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who also founded Russia’s social media network VKontakte. It has 500 million monthly users, according to Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners.

Durov said Telegram has become a “refuge” for those seeking a private and secure communications platform and assured new users that his team “takes this responsibility very seriously.”

Telegram, with its headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, will open an office in Abu Dhabi following the new investment, Mubadala said.

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners is a Mubadala joint venture with U.S. investment company Falcon Edge Capital.

Mubadala, which manages over $230 billion in assets, is UAE’s second-biggest state investor following Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Both of them have invested in technology, with Mubadala contributing $15 billion to SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund in 2017.

Last year Mubadala bought a 1.85% stake in Reliance Industries’ digital unit, Jio Platforms, for $1.2 billion.