A major investor in Telegram’s TON ICO is reportedly seeking compensation for the failure to successfully launch the platform, in a move that could open the floodgates to similar action from other investors.
Da Vinci Capital, one of the main backers of the original initial coin offering (ICO), sent a letter before claim to the CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov, suggesting the fund would raise legal action against Telegram and TON Inc. over the project.
According to sources close to the matter, Da Vinci has demanded compensation running to $100 million, Forbes Russia reported. Other reports have suggested the amount may be closer to $20 million. In either case, Telegram has reportedly been given two weeks to pay, or face court action in London.
Telegram’s TON project and its Gram tokens were shuttered in May 2020 following a lengthy battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), over alleged breaches of securities laws.
In June 2020, a court then ruled that Telegram had to return some $1.2 billion of the money raised from its ICO, with Telegram liable for a 72% repayment now, or 110% refund in the next 12 months. A majority of investors since opted for the 72% refund up front, though it remains unclear how many are still waiting for the 110%.
At the end of 2020, Durov outlined a new monetization strategy for Telegram, saying the firm remained on track to reach billions of users worldwide. While denying the company was actively seeking more finance, Durov noted that it had received a number of loan offers to provide financial assistance.
“Taking a loan is one of the possible ways for Telegram to remain fully independent and true to its values while executing the monetization strategy I outlined in December.”
Today I outlined the monetization strategy of Telegram. It will allow us to remain independent and stay true to our values for decades to come – https://t.co/58h4PXxman
— Pavel Durov (@durov) December 23, 2020
There have also been media reports suggesting Telegram could be looking at a private bonds issue of around $1 billion, which could help plug the financial gap in the short-term.
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