Earlier today, word leaked that Google had sat down with Telegram back in 2015 to navigate a $1 billion acquisition. Now the Russian messaging app’s CEO Pavel Durov is telling reporters that no such discussion occurred. In fact, Durov denounced suggestions of such a meeting pretty strongly. His words, according to TechCrunch:
Bullshit… I haven’t had any acquisition talks or meetings with Google. I am acquainted to Google people and Sundar of course, but acquisition, 1 billion — all of that is false.
A Telegram spokesperson speaking to The Next Web stayed on message chiming in with, “This is complete bullshit. There were no acquisition talks, no plans for any such thing either.”
Google has long been trying to up its messaging game. Although Hangouts is a beloved platform for many, the service hasn’t snagged the market in quite the same way that Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp have. Russian news site RBC originally reported that Google CEO Sundar Pichai met with Durov to discuss the acquisition of the company in spring of last year. RBC claimed that their sources were employees close to Durov, and nobody really had cause to disbelieve the notion that Google would want to get their hands on this growing messaging platform.
Telegram has only been around since 2013, but the app’s popularity is growing quickly. They boast over 100 million monthly active members as of February of this year, and approximately 350,000 new users sign up for the service every day. It seems plausible that Google would want in on that action, especially after losing WhatsApp to Facebook when the social giant coughed up $19 billion to trump Google’s $10 billion offer, but Telegram says it just isn’t in the cards.