WhatsApp rival Telegram raises $1.7bn in its initial coin offering

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Telegram Messaging App
Telegram recently surpassed 200m users (Source: Getty)

WhatsApp rival Telegram has raised a total of $1.7bn (£1.2bn) through the world's biggest initial coin offering (ICO).

After raising an initial $850m in February through the token pre-sale, the encrypted messaging app raised another $850m from 94 investors in March, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Telegram said it may pursue one or more subsequent offerings.

Investors have pledged cash for the Russia-founded tech firm's gram token, and Telegram will put the proceeds towards its blockchain payments platform, Telegram Open Network.

ICOs are still considered to be risky ventures, with a number of regulators, including the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, warning investors to be wary of fraudsters. A growing number of social media firms are also cracking down on ICO advertisements.

Read more: Michelle Mone is launching her own cryptocurrency to back tech startups

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