Crypto

Telegram ICO Raises $1.7B (What?)

Morning Report: So much for a crypto slowdown.

Back in January, Crunchbase News asked: How Big Will Telegram’s ICO End Up Being?” Estimates for the messaging service’s crypto offering ranged from $1.2 billion to $5 billion, including a pre-sale of $500 million or $600 million.

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Happily, we now (mostly) have an answer.

According to a deluge of coverage, Telegram’s ICO has raised around $1.7 billion across two main tranches. And, even more staggering, the firm may not be done. Here’s Bloomberg from earlier today:

Telegram raised $850 million from 94 investors in March in addition to $850 million it gained in February, and “may pursue one or more subsequent offerings,” the British Virgin Islands-registered firm said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

With Telegram’s latest raise, it seems that we have set a new scale for crypto projects. $1.7 billion with room for more makes Filecoin’s $258 million ICO look downright tawdry.

If we’ll see another billion-dollar-plus ICO is a fun question to entertain. The aggregate value of crypto tokens and currencies and assets have plummeted since December 2017 highs. Hundreds of billions of dollars created from thin air have been returned to the ether. For a project to best the Telegram haul, it will either have to capture a larger percentage of the crypto world’s shared value or help grow the market itself.

Regardless, if you had expected the crypto contagion to slow down the ICO market, Telegram just put stars back into the eyes of every CEO who would rather ICO a few million than to raise a real, priced round.

The casino is still open!

From The Crunchbase Daily:

Telegram raises $1.7B in coin offering

  • Telegram, an encrypted messaging app seeking to create its own cryptocurrency, has raised $1.7 billion in what ranks as the largest initial coin offering to date. In a securities filing, the company said it may seek to raise more money.

When Facebook loses, who wins?

  • Facebook’s valuation has fallen by around $60 billion since the Cambridge Analytica scandal surfaced. This prompted Crunchbase News to take a look at who in the startup world might benefit from the social media giant’s missteps.

Magic Leap sends out headsets

  • Heavily funded augmented reality startup Magic Leap has quietly begun sending out headsets. It is implementing an unusually strict security protocol, however, including requiring developers to keep the devices in locked safes.

WeWork and its wacky acquisitions

  • WeWork has acquired eight companies over its lifetime. But the list of targets, which range from a coding bootcamp to a search engine optimization company, doesn’t make a lot of sense at first glance.