bne IntelliNews – Telegram Messenger targets $50 billion IPO in 2 years


Russian internet guru Pavel Durov’s Telegram messenger aims to hold an initial public offering (IPO) within the next two years with a valuation of $50 billion, Vedomosti daily reports citing unnamed sources close to the company based in Dubai.

The Bell quoted unnamed sources as saying an IPO is very likely in 2023 on an Asian exchange, given that 40% of the messenger’s users are in Asia.

As reported by bne IntelliNews, Telegram closed the book for $1 billion in swap bonds yielding 7% a year. There are reports that the last bonds will mature in 2026, with a minimum supply of $0.5 million. The bonds are exchangeable for shares in the event of a potential IPO at a 10% discount.

According to our information, the IPO would not exceed 25%, with a minimum free float of 10%. The valuation is based on $50 per active user, estimating that the messenger‘s active users will grow from 500 million people currently to 0.8 to 1 billion people.

The Bell has compiled Telegram valuations by a number of investment banks, which range from $50 billion to $150 billion. The valuation of at least $50 billion is considered justified, if the messenger presents a clear business model and monetization plan.

bne IntelliNews covered in detail how Telegram turned to debt financing to support its development after Durov halted his TON blockchain project in 2020, following a protracted struggle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). United States. TON was ordered to repay $1.22 billion of investment in its Gram tokens.

In 2020, the messenger made a surprise comeback on the Russian business scene, as the messaging app was unblocked in Russia after a two-year standoff with security services and lawmakers. Notably, Russia’s Sovereign Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) purchased a $150 million portion of the messenger’s most recently issued bonds.


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