According to people familiar with the matter, Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, invested in Telegram's Gram Token and participated in the ICO of the Telegram Open Network (TON) project.
This means that her investment is not less than $ 5 million, as this is the minimum threshold for the pre-sale fundraising stage. However, sources did not disclose how much Powell invested.
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After Jobs' death in 2011, she inherited about $ 20 billion. Today, Powell is a businesswoman, philanthropist, and executive at Emerson Collective, a social change organization.
Telegram raised about $ 1.7 billion during its ICO in early 2018. However, the company, founded by Nikolai and Pavel Durov, has been battling the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has not been able to launch the project to this day.
Powell is one of 39 US investors who invested in Telegram ICO. The social media giant has never registered the token sale, which disturbs the SEC because it violates U.S. law, according to the SEC. US investors bought a total of 1 billion Gram tokens, with prices starting from under $ 1. The SEC says that 171 individuals and institutions worldwide have purchased 2.9 billion tokens.
At the end of 2019, the SEC suspended Telegram's token issuance to "prevent Telegram from circulating digital tokens in the U.S. market, which are illegally sold."
Stephanie Avakian of the SEC enforcement agency said:
"We believe that the defendant did not provide investors with information about Gram and Telegram's business operations, financial condition, risk factors and management requirements required by securities law."
Nevertheless, Telegram is still working on launching a blockchain platform. Earlier this year, the company issued an announcement about TON and its Gram token.
In addition to Powell, Russian and Israeli billionaires, football magnate Roman Abramovich, and former Russian Minister of Open Government Affairs Mikhail Abyzov also participated in Telegram's ICO They invested US $ 10 million and US $ 20 million, respectively.
The owner of the London-based Chelsea Football Club and the name of the former politician, as well as dozens of other individuals and funds, have been included in a list compiled by the University of Oregon professor Stephen McKeon. He is reportedly employed by Telegram to write analysis reports for the TON blockchain project. To protect privacy, some names on the second round of global investor lists have been modified.