Telegram Promises Investor Refund, or Maybe Not
Telegram has announced it will give a full refund to investors if the TON platform doesn’t launch by October 2019. At the same time the company also issued a document that negates the promise.
Refund Guaranteed, or Not
The messaging app operator that raised $850 million from institutional investors in a private sale, and is now looking to double that with a second sale at the end of February, is so confident of success it has promised a refund if they fail to launch by October 2019.
Funding from the initial round of investors would already have made the Telegram launch the biggest ever. At over a billion and a half, it will dwarf the previous largest launch by Tezoz which raised $232 million.
The company plans on using capital from its ICO to build a Platform to rival Ethereum. The Telegram Open Network or TON is scheduled to be an ecosystem that supports apps, services, and a store for both physical and digital goods.
While in one document sent to potential investors the claim was made that if the product didn’t launch by October 2019 it would refund their investment. In another, the claim is completely refuted, as quoted below.
“There can be no assurance that the Issuer or Telegram will have sufficient funds to make payments of any Termination Amount (as defined in the Purchase Agreements) as and when required under the terms of the Purchase Agreements. Neither Telegram nor the Issuer has any fiduciary or other obligation to use the funds generated by the token sale for the benefit of the purchasers…”
This contradiction comes after an already highly criticized ICO schedule and white paper experts have found wanting.
Refund Confusion One of Many Criticisms
CEO Pavel Durov’s idea of an ICO is a departure from the norm as only accredited investors were invited to both the initial and second rounds of funding. This method more closely resembles the traditional venture capital form of fundraising when most of the discounted product is sold to private firms before the public round opens.
In addition to the ‘private’ ICO the company’s own technical white paper has raised eyebrows with its claims. The document describes it’s platform’s offerings as including document storage and DNS services and predicts it will be able to make millions of transactions per second but with no details on how.
For Durov the second sale makes perfect sense considering the success of the first and rumors that early investors are already flipping their shares for double what they paid should bring plenty of money to the table. As far as the refund statement goes, as Joe DiPasquale of BitBull Capital said “If they can raise $2 billion then it’s almost a guarantee the token will launch,”
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