Reports of Telegram’s second secret pre-ICO sale has finally turned to be true as the popular messaging app has managed to clock fundraising with a total of $1.7 Billion as it closes the second round of its pre-ICO sale. As per the latest documents filed with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, the funds raised were “purchase agreements for cryptocurrency.”
Back in February, the company announced that it had raised a whopping $850 million in the first round itself making it as the largest fundraising via token sale till date. The latest filing notes that the existing fundraising of $850 million is in addition to the previous offering, thereby surpassing the company’s initial targets of $1.2 billion, now making a total of $1.7 billion.
The filing also notes that a total of 94 investors have contributed to this funding round which amounts to an individual investment of approximately 9 million. While in the first and the previous funding round, a total of 81 investors participated in the funding with average individual investment worth $10.5 million.
Note that the Telegram token sale is based on the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) framework. The filing states that “The issuers may pursue one or more subsequent offerings.” Industry reports suggest that Telegram can raise as much as $2.55 as a part of its pre-ICO sale. The SEC complied document shows that for people and entities to participate in the process, the minimum funding requirement is kept at $1 million.
All the funds will be used to develop the “Telegram Open Network” (TON) which is quite an ambitious project as Telegram claims it to be a “third-generation” blockchain that will be hosting the company’s own “gram” tokens and in addition, it will be a complete ecosystem many times bigger the size of Ethereum allowing people to make their decentralized applications on its platform.
The SEC filing notes: “The issuers intend to use the proceeds for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes described in the offering materials.”
Although everything so far has been smooth and fine for the company, a lot of investors have criticized the messaging giant for not maintaining some good transparency with regards to the proceeds of its blockchain project. Charles Noyes, a fund manager at VR firm Pantera Capital says “My primary concern with it is that in the first offering institutions are seriously looking at, they’re promising something that will somehow be radically better than everything else out there, with no real explanation of how that will happen or outside scrutiny of those claims.”
Moreover, the company has been also criticized for leveraging its position wrongly and launching the new projects by creating a lot of euphoria without actually putting out the technical details of the same. Christian Catalini, a professor and founder of MIT’s Cryptoeconomics Lab said: “We actually document in our research paper that there has been a major transition from more technical white papers to the kind of white papers that look a lot more like sales pitches. There’s been less focus on technical details over time and, for some of these, much more on selling the vision. In the case of the Telegram one, there is a lot that is being promised and not a lot of clarity on how that would be delivered.”