Telegram Tries for Another $850M in Second Private Pre-ICO Round

Telegram is stealthily conducting a second pre-ICO round and aims to raise another $850 million, several insiders have told The Verge.

Telegram, the message service operator that is expected to conduct the largest initial coin offering (ICO) in history, is allegedly running a second pre-sale, this time in secret, according to tech media portal The Verge.

Last week, we reported that Telegram had succeeded in raising $850 million in a pre-sale for the development of its Telegram Open Network (TON). This is according to a regulatory filing, which listed venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Benchmark among the investors. Based on this amount alone, Telegram has already become the largest ICO in history, way above Tezos’ $232 million. However, CEO Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov apparently don’t mean to stop there.

The Verge reported that investors received an email message notifying them that Telegram is conducting a second private pre-sale. It is still unclear how much the message service is targeting, but some sources claim that it hopes to collect another $850 million. The figure suggests that Telegram could raise $1.6 billion before the public token sale is even launched.

It seems Telegram is undecided about the precise amount it wants for its project, which, by the way, many critics see as possibly falling short of technical expectations. For instance, Carlos Mosquera of Solidus Capital claimed he was presented with various Telegram offers from different intermediaries. Discounts on tokens ranged from 30% to 80% of the anticipated public price.

“A month and a half ago we got the pitch and the opportunity for Telegram. We passed because we received two or three different terms and deals by the same ICO. None of the information was clear,” Mosquera noted.

He added that he got no invitation to the second private pre-sale but noted that the event did not really surprise him.

“Nowadays the presales are hotter than the crowd sale itself,” Mosquera said.

It seems that the first pre-ICO sale was oversubscribed, and some early investors were reportedly selling their tokens in the secondary markets even though the units are not yet recognized. This shows that the interest in Telegram is there, so the company knows a second round is also quite likely to reach its target.