Abu Dhabi funds invest $150 million in Telegram messaging app

    Telegram, already headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, will open an office in Abu Dhabi following the new investment, Mubadala said.
    By: REUTERS
    | Updated on: Mar 23 2021, 16:04 IST
    The Telegram Messenger LLP app on a smartphone arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, U.S.
    The Telegram Messenger LLP app on a smartphone arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, U.S. (Bloomberg)
    The Telegram Messenger LLP app on a smartphone arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, U.S.
    The Telegram Messenger LLP app on a smartphone arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, U.S. (Bloomberg)

    Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, part-owned by Mubadala, said on Tuesday they had invested a combined $150 million in messaging app Telegram.

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

    Also read: Abu Dhabi's Mubadala seeks Israeli partners on technology investment

    "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 inflection point that will transform it into a leading global technology company."

    Telegram, along with messaging app Signal, have seen an increase in users this year amid privacy concerns with larger rival Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

    Launched in 2013, Telegram has 500 million monthly users, according to Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners. The app earlier this year said it saw an enormous increase in signups after WhatsApp changed its privacy policy to share more data from business chats with parent company Facebook.  

    Telegram, already headquartered 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 US investment company Falcon Edge Capital.

    Read more: 5 things to know about the voice chat feature on Telegram

    Mubadala, which manages more than $230 billion in assets, is UAE's second-biggest state investor after Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

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

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

    - With inputs from HT Correspondent 

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    First Published Date: 23 Mar, 16:04 IST
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