In Dubai, the Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Ibn Mohammed Al Maktoum met with Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram, one of the world’s leading instant messaging and VoIP services.
The program of the Sheikh’s father – vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai – has led to the creation of advanced technology centers like Dubai Internet City. “Dubai provides all the elements needed for the success of new businesses of all sizes, from the world’s leading infrastructure and regulatory framework to incubators and smart funding.– said the prince. – We continue to welcome talented people and ideas to Dubai, which offers a favorable ecosystem for their development. “…
Pavel Durov expressed his gratitude to the Sheikh for his vision, which has been instrumental in driving growth, innovation and entrepreneurship in the technology sector far beyond Dubai. Prince Hamdan, in turn, wrote in Twitter: “I met Pavel Durov, the founder of the Dubai-based Telegram platform with a market value of over $ 20 billion and over 570 million users, and learned the details of an inspiring success story born in the land of the Emirates in the favorable business environment that Dubai provides to its partners.”…
The purpose of the meeting between the entrepreneur and the crown prince is not mentioned. Last month, The Information reported that Telegram was going to raise a loan of $ 1 billion, which in the event of an IPO could be converted into shares. The publication believes that the convertible debt will provide the necessary funding to expand Telegram before the company goes public. Commenting on this information, Pavel Durov noted that he had not met with banks and investors, but his team received various proposals.
In 2020, Telegram entered the top ten most downloaded and popular applications in the world. In January alone, the number of users increased by 100 million, and by the end of the year the messenger is expected to have a billion monthly active users.
Examples of global entrepreneurial success achieved in Dubai over the past few years include: Careem, acquired by Uber; Souq.com – the first unicorn company in the Middle East (whose capitalization exceeded $ 1 billion in a short period), acquired by Amazon; Media.Net is one of the world’s largest advertising technology companies; Anghami – Music streaming platform; Wrappup is an AI-based productivity application developer acquired by American technology firm Voicera.
Pavel Durov left Russia in 2014 due to pressure and the forced sale of his stake in the social network VKontakte, created by him, for $ 300 million. In 2017, he decided to settle in Dubai, including due to the low tax burden. Telegram’s headquarters and office are located on the 23rd floor of one of the skyscrapers of the Dubai Media City complex in the capital of the emirate.
“I like it here. It’s a matter of principle. Many in the West do not understand how severe the restrictions are imposed on them by taxes. It can take up to half of your income to pay them, which essentially means that you work for the government for 180 days a year. I believe I can find the best use of my money for the good of society. “– then Durov said to Bloomberg.
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