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Abu Dhabi funds invest $ 150 million in Telegram messaging app

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, partly owned by Mubadala, on Tuesday announced that they have jointly invested $ 150 million in the Telegram messaging app.

FILE PHOTO: The Telegram logo can be seen on a smartphone screen in this photo taken on April 13, 2018. REUTERS / Ilya Naymushin

Mubadala invested $ 75 million in five-year Telegram bonds, while Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners invested an additional $ 75 million.

Telegrams’ user base has reached critical mass that places it among the world’s tech giants, Mubadala executive Faris Sohail Faris al-Mazrui said in a statement.

Telegram is well positioned for an inflection point that will transform it into a leading global technology company.

Telegram, along with the Signal messaging app, saw a surge in user numbers this year amid privacy concerns with WhatsApp, a bigger rival owned by Facebook.

Launched in 2013, Telegram has 500 million monthly users, according to Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners.

Telegram, which is already headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, will open an office in Abu Dhabi following the new investment, Mubadala said.

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners is a Mubadala joint venture with US investment firm Falcon Edge Capital.

Mubadala, which manages more than $ 230 billion in assets, is the UAE’s second-largest state investor after the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Both have invested in technology, with Mubadala contributing $ 15 billion to SoftBank’s $ 100 billion Vision fund in 2017.

Mubadala bought a 1.85% stake in Reliance Industries’ digital unit, Jio Platforms, last year for $ 1.2 billion.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith

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