Technology

Abu Dhabi funds invest $150 million in Telegram messaging app


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

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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 | Telegram’s new Clubhouse-like audio chatting feature

“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.

Also Read | Encrypted messaging app Signal stops working in China

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 U.S. investment company Falcon Edge Capital.

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

Also Read | Telegram will ensure ads are ‘privacy conscious’, says founder Durov

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.

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