Telegram’s ICO, still not concluded, is already the biggest in history of this financing mechanism. The amount of investments amassed by Telegram is expected to exceed $2 billion — all for a promise of TON, a fast and reliable blockchain-based network with built-in cryptocurrency Gram.
While some investors are desperate to invest in the project, others wonder if the investment is worth it in the first place. Today, we decided to explore the prospects of Telegram and its ambitions.
A case for profit
In 2014 Facebook bought WhatsApp, the company behind a messaging app of the same name, for $19 billion. At that point, WhatsApp’s user base was 450 million, which leads to a single user’s value of $42.
That is in line with similar acquisitions, name Facebook — Instagram ($33 per user) and Google — YouTube ($48). All these services had no solid business model when they were bought, which might have influenced their approach to merging with a big corporation.
Roman Parshin, DTI Digital managing partner:
"Successful launch of TON will push the whole crypto-industry forward, as tens of millions of loyal customers will enter the market. Besides, Telegram, continiously improving group chats, channels and bots, already has a product superior to other messengers. Integrating cryptocurrency will allow for a money-transfer service, which will bring Telegram closer to a widely popular WeChat.
As of now, Telegram is the main communication platform in the crypto-community. This, along with Google and Facebook declaring to bun ICO and cryptocurrency ads, will position Telegram as the key promotion channel.
Telegram’s ICO is appealing to a broad range of crypto- and more conservative investors, who follow technological innovations. The level of interest is comparable to Snapchat IPO, which even triggered rapid growth in valuation of SNAP Interactive Inc., an unrelated company."
What differentiates Telegram from messengers acquired by tech giants is its straightforward plan to monetize the product — including various services, such as TON Storage, TON Proxy, or an advertising exchange. Given that TON is successfully integrated into the messenger, its broad user base will provide sustainable cashflows to Telegram.
As of December last year, Telegram’s active users were estimated at 180 million, with additional 500 thousand coming each day. 80 million of them were reading blogs within the messengers, while 52 million were using some of 800 thousand bots. Telegram’s team anticipates that by 2021 it will reach 675 million active users.
Telegram is the prime channel of communication for crypto-community:
The messenger is used as a discussion platform for ICOs and cryptocurrencies, and some of the OTC activity is negotiated fully in Telegram. This gives grounds to be optimistic about how Telegram’s users will view TON.
#background 89% of Telegram’s users have expressed interest in a built-in payment system — more than any other messenger