Morning Report: How much money will Telegram raise in its ICO? A huge but imprecise amount it seems.
Telegram, a privacy-centered messaging application, is planning a massive initial coin offering (ICO) that appears to be drawing similar investor and media attention. Indeed, coverage of the ICO has been thick in the tech media this year. And as the coverage has swirled, so too have the sums in question.
Precisely how much money Telegram’s ICO will try to collect through a pre-sale (the real ICO, if you will), and then a public token offering after the smart money has gotten in, is slightly hard to track.
For example, here’s TechCrunch, on January 8th, discussing the ICO:
Telegram is understood to be considering raising as much as $500 million in the pre-ICO sale at a potential total token value in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion.
And here’s TechCrunch, on January 15th, discussing the same topic:
The company plans to raise a staggering $1.2 billion in total, starting with a $600 million pre-sale that’s strictly for traditional venture capital backers and those inside its executive’s close circles.
This isn’t to pick on TechCrunch. When an event such as an ICO, or even a standard IPO, is being reported on, it’s not uncommon for the news to read differently week-by-week as new facts and figures emerge.
On that point, here’s Bloomberg discussing the ICO on January 18th:
Telegram is seeking $850 million in a private sale of tokens to large investors this month and $1.15 billion in a subsequent public ICO in March, said the people, who held negotiations with the company and asked not to be identified.
The same report goes on to confirm that the $1.2 billion ICO figure was correct at one point.
Today, the narrative comes full circle. Here’s Axios’s Dan Primack on where the ICO may wind up:
Brand-name VC firms like Benchmark have (quietly) signed on to what reportedly could be a $500 million offering, after which Telegram would sell between $3 billion and $5 billion of tokens to develop its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency.
And here we land back at where we were in early January, according to TechCrunch’s reporting.
So how big is the Telegram offering? I doubt anyone knows what the final number will be. But it does seem clear that the Telegram ICO will set records, and it will ensure that 2018’s ICO result will be comparable with 2017’s.
From The Crunchbase Daily:
- Snowflake Computing, a provider of warehousing for cloud-based data, has raised $263 million in growth funding at a $1.5 billion pre-money valuation. Iconiq Capital, Altimeter Capital, and Sequoia Capital led the round, with participation from other existing investors.
- When it comes to delivering significant returns on invested capital, it’s often lower-profile companies that come out on top. A Crunchbase News analysis of top-performing exits for the past year found several examples of tech and biotech companies reaching multi-billion dollar valuations on investments $100 million or less.
- Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, one of the largest investors in the legal cannabis industry, has raised $100 million for its fund, which backs cannabis startups. The fundraising follows several years of rising venture investment in the cannabis space.
- Chronicle, the latest graduate of Alphabet’s moonshot program, has launched as a standalone company aimed at building a cybersecurity intelligence platform for organizations to better manage and understand their own data.