Pavel Durov is the founder and owner of Telegram, a messaging app with over 500 million users worldwide. Pavel left Russia in 2014 after he was forced to sell his equities in VKontakte (VK), another social media company that he founded. Pavel’s departure from Russia came at a time when the country’s government was trying to clamp down on freedom of speech on social media platforms. In contrast, Telegram has been able to operate without any interference by authorities because it is not based in one specific country and doesn’t store data on its servers.
Later that year, Telegram became free from ads and charged users $0.99 per year for a subscription pack with more features like stickers, access to groups without any restrictions, et cetera. This was after Pavel had received offers as high as $20 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg before his departure from Russia. Pavel turned down the offer because it would have required him to disclose some user data which could violate privacy rights on Telegram’s platform according to Reuters News Agency article published by The Globe Post on January 16th, 2019 entitled “Facebook Offers Russian Billionaire Pavel Durov 20 Million Inadvertently”.
What is Telegram
The Telegram app is a free, cross-platform cloud-based instant messaging (IM) software and application service. It was initially released for iOS on 14 August 2013 and Android in October 2013. Telegram offers end-to-end encrypted video calling VoIP, file sharing and other features. Its most notable feature is "Secret Chat," which allows users to send messages that will self-destruct after they are read or within a set amount of time. These secret chats can only be decrypted with the recipient's passcode if the device running it has not been unlocked by anyone else who may have access to it at the same time.
The service was created by Telegram Messenger LLP, a privately held company headquartered in Berlin, Germany. It is an instant messaging app which has the same features as WhatsApp but with better security and speed capabilities.
Pavel Durov is a Russian entrepreneur who founded Telegram, the popular messaging service that has been downloaded by more than 100 million people. Telegram was initially funded with his personal money and investments from two other founders. Telegram was registered as both an English LLP and an American LLC. But recently, Pavel has announced plans to liquidate the British company behind it which will make him considerably richer. He is liquidating Telegram Messenger LLP and plans to take $850 million of what remains as personal income. After that, he will be left with just a small stake in his company’s shares along with some unspecified non-voting shares for future employees or investors. This means that Durov will have an estimated net worth of around $500 million (in U.S dollars) which could lead him back into politics if desired as it would give him power over more than 30% of Russia's GDP (gross domestic product).
Facts about Pavel Durov
- Pavel Durov, known for founding Russia's biggest social network Vkontakte and the anonymity app Telegram.
- Pavel Durov founded Russia’s largest social network Vkontakte, when he was just 22. In 2015, he sold 12% of his stake in the company for an estimated $300 million.
- In 2018, Pavel and his brother Nikolai Durov raised over $1.7 billion (USD) from investors to create TON, which is a blockchain-based system based on Telegram.
Pavel currently lives in Dubai and he is often considered to be one of the most highly sought-after entrepreneurs.