Money Pit? Telegram ICO Hits $1.7 Billion After 2nd Funding Round
Originally published on: CCN
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March 30, 2018
The Telegram ICO has now raised a total of at least $1.7 billion, public documents show.
According to offering documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and dated March 29, the second round of Telegram’s much-hyped initial coin offering (ICO) raised $850 million in a sale that began on March 14.
The filing reports that 94 investors contributed to the funding round, placing the average individual investment at approximately $9 million. The previous funding round, which occurred in January and also raised $850 million, attracted 81 investors for an average individual investment of $10.5 million.
Both rounds of the Telegram ICO have been reported to the SEC under Rule 506(c) of Securities Act Regulation D, which allows unregistered securities issuers to raise an unlimited amount of money as long as they restrict contributions to accredited (i.e. wealthy) investors, file a simple report with the SEC, and require investors to submit to a predefined vesting period before selling their stakes.
The $1.7 billion Telegram has currently raised exceeds the $1.6 billion the firm was reportedly targeting in February.
However, Telegram has been notoriously opaque in both the development of its new blockchain protocol and the handling of the ICO, so it is unclear whether this marks the conclusion of the firm’s token sale or founder Pavel Durov will seek to raise more cash for the project in the near future.
This opacity has scared many big-name investors away, including renowned cryptocurrency hedge fund Pantera Capital.
The company claims that the Telegram Open Network (TON) — whose native token is called “Gram” — will be a revolutionary “third-generation blockchain” that has the network capacity to process 1 million transactions per second at virtually no cost. However, many blockchain developers have raised serious questions about the practicality of TON’s proposed system.
As CCN reported, quantitative analyst Aaron Brown estimated that the TON could reach a $200 billion market cap in five years — a best case scenario — but that current investors are likely overpaying for the Gram tokens.