Banking Giants BNY Mellon And Credit Suisse Helped Telegram Move The $1.7B Fund Raised In ICO
Telegram made headlines early in 2018 when its ICO held in the month of March raised $1.7 billion for 2.9 billion Gram tokens in public sales. This was the second-largest fundraiser from an ICO only behind Block.one which raised $4 billion during its public sale in 2017-18. Telegram had announced that it would issue its Gram token by the end of 2019 however the SEC got an immediate restraining order against the issuance of the Gram token as they failed to register their ICO with the SEC.
The US regulation for a digital asset requires any sale of securities to be pre-approved by the SEC and only then they would be deemed legal. However, Telegram failed to register with the SEC and as a result, got itself involved in a long legal battle.
The SEC has filed a proposed order requesting British High Court to help them get testimony from Telegram's former chief investment advisor John Hayman who was responsible for managing, moving, and allocating funds raised from the ICO. The new filing contains several conversations between investors and Hayman regarding the purchase of Gram token.
A dive through these chats revealed how Telegram asked the investors to send their investment to the company which involved megabanks BNY Mellon and Credit Suisse. One of the chats from Telegram employees named Shyam Parekh revealed the process of transfer. The chat read,
“We will receive the funds through BNY, which will forward the funds to CS (Schweiz) AG for final credit to Credit Suisse AG,”
The involvement of Wall Street banks for storing and transfer of funds raised for a digital currency shows the changing perception of the crypto space and how these megabanks want a piece of this evolving sector.
Investor's investment into Gram goes Public
The long list of Telegram chats with Hayman and several Telegram employees revealed the identity of several investors along with the capital those parties have invested. The list of investors had many American investment funds such as Kleiner Perkins, who made a whopping $30 million confirmed investment in gram token, Lightspeed China, the regional sub subsidiary of Lightspeed Ventures, invested $25 million while FBG Capital made a $10 million investment.
Apart from these big investment firms, several small investors also took a share of the Gram token via Elysium firm to manage the fund. The Elysium fund in total invested $12 million for the likes of these investors.
Another chat between Hayman and a client revealed that Telegram also received funds from Russia. When Hayman was asked “where’s all this $ coming from” he responded, “big Russia, CIS bid, quite a lot in Israel and Pavel fan club.”