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Telegram: The Journey to Become a Private and Profitable Messaging Platform

Modern communication platforms have revolutionized the way people communicate with each other. One of such platforms is Telegram, a messaging app that has gained immense popularity over the years.

Telegram has several unique features and functionalities that set it apart from other messaging platforms. This article will discuss the features and background of Telegram, as well as its growth, challenges, and controversies.

Features and Functionality of Telegram

Telegram is a messaging platform that allows users to send text, audio, and video messages on desktop and mobile devices. It has both private and group chats, which allow users to chat with their friends and family members, as well communicate with their colleagues at work.

Telegram also has an extensive file-sharing option, where users can share documents, photos, videos, and other files. Telegram has several photo and video editing features that enable users to add captions, stickers, and emojis.

These features make Telegram a fun tool that can be used to express creativity and humor. Additionally, Telegram has public channels where users can follow different topics of interest, including breaking news, sports, and entertainment.

This feature makes Telegram a reliable source of information for people interested in real-time updates on various topics. One of the unique features of Telegram is its focus on privacy.

Telegram uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that chats between users remain private. The app also has temporary chats that self-destruct after a specified time, which is useful when users need to have conversations they want to remain confidential.

In addition to this, Telegram also has an API that allows third-party developers to create bots, which help to make the app more functional.

Founders and Background of Telegram

Telegram was founded by the Durov brothers, Pavel and Nikolai Durov. Pavel Durov is a Russian entrepreneur who co-founded VKontakte, a popular social media platform that resembled Facebook.

VKontakte was a considerable success in Russia until a police raid against Durov led him to sell his shares in the company.

After moving to St. Kitts, Pavel Durov launched Telegram in 2013.

Telegram soon gained popularity because of its secure and private messaging features. It currently has more than 500 million monthly active users worldwide, with a vast majority of users coming from non-Western countries.

Early Growth and User Adoption

Telegram quickly gained popularity among users who valued the app’s secure and private messaging features. Telegram’s user base grew significantly after Edward Snowden leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents in 2013, exposing the US government’s surveillance programs.

This event sparked widespread outrage among people who value privacy and spurred the adoption of Telegram. Telegram gained significant traction globally, particularly in countries where people were concerned about government censorship and surveillance.

The app’s popularity greatly improved when WhatsApp announced that it would start sharing user data with Facebook. Telegram capitalized on this event by emphasizing its superiority over WhatsApp in terms of privacy and security.

Another factor that contributed to Telegram’s growth was its seamless synchronization of messages and accounts across different platforms, including phones, tablets, and computers. The adoption of bots also helped to make the app more functional and appealing to users.

Challenges and Controversies

Telegram has faced several challenges and controversies over the years. In 2018, Telegram faced controversy over its public channels, which were allegedly used to spread terrorist messages.

Several governments requested that Telegram remove the channels, which led to a heated battle between Telegram and the governments.

In 2019, Telegram faced legal challenges due to copyrighted content on the app.

Several artists filed lawsuits against Telegram for hosting pirated copies of their work on its platform. Telegram also faced backlash from WhatsApp when it allowed users to import their chat history from WhatsApp to Telegram.

Telegram has also been involved in several blockchain-related controversies. In 2018, Telegram announced that it was launching a new blockchain platform known as TON (Telegram Open Network) and a token, Gram.

However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered Telegram to stop issuing Gram tokens, leading to a restraining order on Telegram’s TON project.

Telegram reached a settlement with the SEC in 2020, which led to the reinstatement of user access.

However, Telegram incurred a significant amount of legal fees during this period, leading to financial losses.

In 2021, Apple removed Telegram from its App Store due to the distribution of inappropriate content on its platform.

This move followed the Russian government’s decision to block Telegram within its borders due to the app’s failure to comply with its data localization laws. These controversies have tested Telegram’s resilience and ability to adapt to changing situations.


Telegram is a messaging platform that offers unique features and functionalities that distinguish it from other messaging apps. Its seamless file-sharing options, public channels, and strong security features have contributed to its growth and popularity.

However, Telegram has also faced several controversies, ranging from legal challenges to battles with governments. Despite these challenges, Telegram has proved to be resilient and has continued to gain and retain its user base globally.

Previous Funding and Monetization Plans

Telegram has been able to raise billions of dollars in funding over the years, with its primary funding sources being the personal funds of the Durov brothers and a blockchain network that issued initial coin offerings (ICOs) of its cryptocurrency token, GRAM. Telegram’s early focus was on building a user base and perfecting its messaging platform, rather than generating revenue.

Telegram’s original monetization plans included payment services, distributed storage of files, and a proxy service that would allow users to access the internet securely. However, despite several monetization options, Telegram has struggled to find a revenue stream that ranges between substantial and recurring.

With the launch of its blockchain network and cryptocurrency token GRAM, Telegram initially planned to monetize its platform by issuing and holding the GRAM token. This plan was put on hold in May 2018 after the SEC ordered Telegram to stop issuing the token.

Telegram has since explored other revenue streams, including sponsored messages, which allow advertisers to send targeted messages to Telegram users. Telegram monetizes sponsored messages on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis, and the company provides data on the number of ad views, as well as an advertiser’s maximum budget.

In addition to this, Telegram has also introduced premium subscriptions, which offer perks such as the ability to send larger files, archive messages, and add more people to groups. Telegram remains committed to offering a free user experience, and the premium subscriptions are an optional add-on.

Current Revenue Streams

Telegram’s sponsored messages service is one of the company’s major revenue streams. This service allows businesses to target users with customized messages, which can lead to increased engagement and sales.

Telegram uses a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model, which means that advertisers pay a fixed rate for every thousand impressions of their ads. Telegram’s data on ad views and the advertiser’s maximum budget helps to ensure that businesses get value for their money.

Despite introducing premium subscriptions in 2021, Telegram remains committed to offering a free user experience. The premium subscriptions are optional, and the cost and perks vary based on the package.

Telegram’s basic package is free for all users, with no limitations on functionality. To grow its user base and attract more businesses to its platform, Telegram has introduced several growth strategies.

Telegram allows users to link their social media profiles to their Telegram accounts, making it easier for businesses to find potential customers. Telegram has also introduced a referral program that rewards users who refer people to the platform, with free services or subscriptions.

Telegram’s paid services and premium subscriptions are part of the company’s larger revenue generation plans. Telegram is exploring several revenue streams, including monetizing its proxy service, which helps users in countries with strict internet censorship laws access the internet securely.

Funding Rounds and Investors

Telegram has raised over $2.7 billion in funding over the years, and its funding has primarily come from debt and venture funding. The company’s funding rounds are notable for several reasons, including the speed at which they were executed, the limited number of investors who were allowed to participate, and the vast amounts of capital raised.

Telegram’s most substantial funding round took place in March 2018, and the company raised $1.7 billion in debt sales. This funding round was notable for being one of the largest-ever debt sales in the technology sector and for the fact that the fundraising was executed entirely through private placements with a handful of investors.

Telegram’s notable investors include Digital Sky Technologies, Sequoia Capital, and Goldman Sachs. Despite being funded through private placements, Telegram has not publicly disclosed its valuation, making it difficult to predict the company’s future IPO prospect.

Potential for Going Public

Telegram has yet to disclose any plans to go public, but some industry experts speculate that the company may do so in the future. Telegram’s fundraising rounds are not publicly disclosed, limiting the public’s ability to evaluate the company’s overall valuation.

Additionally, having achieved solid growth by maintaining a private approach may discourage Durov from going public. However, a Crunchbase report suggests that Telegram’s recent fundraising rounds indicate that the company may be exploring a possible IPO in the future.

If Telegram does decide to go public, it would be one of the most significant technology IPOs in history. Despite rumors and speculation about going public, the exact timeline for when Telegram plans to execute an IPO is unknown at this time.

Several factors, including market conditions and regulatory considerations, will likely influence any decision regarding an IPO.


Telegram has had a unique journey in the messaging and cryptocurrency industry, with several significant funding rounds and a solid user base. Telegram’s primary revenue streams include sponsored messages, premium subscriptions, and its paid proxy service.

Telegram is committed to offering a free user experience, and its revenue-generation plan is focused on providing value-added services to businesses.

Currently, the company has a formidable valuation, which may provide them with a stable foundation to explore further monetization strategies while keeping the founders’ private approach.

Telegram’s future remains uncertain, and it continues to push boundaries in the messaging industry, making going public a possibility in the future. Telegram, a popular messaging platform, has gained immense popularity with its unique features and focus on privacy.

It offers various functionalities such as private and group chats, file sharing, and public channels. Despite facing challenges and controversies, Telegram has grown rapidly, attracting billions in funding.

Its revenue streams include sponsored messages and premium subscriptions, while potential future monetization strategies may involve its proxy service. The company’s valuation remains undisclosed, and while there are rumors of a future IPO, the timeline for this remains unknown.

Telegram’s success highlights the importance of secure messaging platforms and the value of providing users with a free experience while exploring sustainable revenue generation options. The future of Telegram promises both growth and innovation in the messaging industry.

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