Telegram has received a $20 million compensation request from Da Vinci Capital for its investment messaging platform’s $1.7 billion initial coin offering (ICO) to build the now-shelved Telegram Open Network (TON), according to Forbes Russia report. The compensation amount is the difference between the initially invested amount and the already refunded amount.
Though not officially confirmed, the investor sent the notice to Pavel Durov, CEO of the encrypted messaging platform, Vice President Ilya Perekopsky, along with other top managers and lawyers of the TON project.
The investor reportedly gave Telegram two weeks to compensate the amount, or else they plan to take the messaging company to a London court.
A Failed Blockchain Project
Telegram raised $1.7 billion in closed-door ICO in 2018 for its ambitious blockchain project. Despite great demand from investors, the project came under the scrutiny of the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which categorized TON tokens as unregistered securities.
The regulator’s lawsuit forced the company to push the token distribution among the investors multiple times, and after a long legal battle, Telegram finally decided to scrap its blockchain project.
As for TON investors’ compensation, Telegram offered two options – either to exit immediately with 72 percent of their initial investment, or loan the amount to Telegram and receive 110 percent at the end of April 2021. However, US investors were given only the first exit option.
Da Vinci Capital was one of the major investors in the ICO and agreed to purchase $72.1 million in TON token with its Disruptive Era Fund. The US regulator pointed out that the investor transferred $45.4 million to Telegram later in 2018.
Meanwhile, Telegram is now planning to raise $1 billion as debt from investors in Russia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the fundraising method previously boasted by Durov.
“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,” he wrote in an official chat earlier.