Dubai: Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company has invested $75 million in 5-year pre-IPO convertible bonds of Telegram, the social media platform, with Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners investing a further $75 million.
The strategic partnership between the companies is expected to "create new collaboration opportunities and thereby further advance Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem of innovative and tech-enabled companies".
Launched in 2013 by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov as a secure messaging app, Telegram has its headquarters in the UAE. It has become one of the 10 most downloaded apps in the world with over 500 million monthly active users.
In the last year and more, Mubadala has made a point of committing significant funding into emerging technology and digital focussed businesses, cutting across geographies. Last year, it picked up in Jio, the platform owned by Reliance Industries in India.
“We believe that Telegram is well-positioned for an inflection point that will transform it into a leading global technology company," said Faris Sohail Faris Al Mazrui, Head of Mubadala’s Russia and CIS Investment Program. "The company represents a very promising investment opportunity for Mubadala and will sit well within our wider portfolio of pioneering companies looking to transform their respective industries.
"Our investment in Telegram establishes a strategic partnership for us to further strengthen Abu Dhabi's technology ecosystem as well as bring new levels of tech skills and talent to the capital.”
The Mubadala funds are routed as direct or as fund-of-fund investing. Over the past 12 months, it has taken exposures in Waymo and AliExpress, apart from Jio Platforms.