Telegram Founder Pavel Durov Hails the Messaging Platform’s “Unprecedented Growth”

The net worth of Telegram owner Pavel Durov ranks him among the world’s richest people. Learn more about the 37-year-old and his career so far.

Dan Clarendon - Author

Oct. 20 2021, Published 9:54 a.m. ET

Pavel Durov
Source: Getty Images

Billionaire Pavel Durov has reason to celebrate these days, and not just because of his net worth. On Oct. 15, 2021, Android Police reported that Durov’s instant-messaging app Telegram had been installed from the Google Play Store one billion times.

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Pavel Durov

Telegram founder and owner

Net worth: $17.2 billion

Pavel Durov created the social media network VKontakte (now called VK) and is the founder and owner of messaging service Telegram.

Birthdate: Oct. 10, 1984

Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Nationality: Russian

Education: Saint Petersburg State University

And that good news came shortly after Durov noted “a record increase in user registration and activity” for Telegram. “The daily growth rate of Telegram exceeded the norm by an order of magnitude, and we welcomed over 70 million refugees from other platforms in one day,” he wrote on his Telegram channel on Oct. 5. “I am proud of how our team handled the unprecedented growth because Telegram continued to work flawlessly for the vast majority of our users.”

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Durov has an 11-figure net worth

pavel durov
Source: Getty Images

According to Forbes, Durov’s real-time net worth was $17.2 billion as of Oct. 19. That fortune ranked him 121st on the magazine’s Real-Time Billionaires List, above Apple heir Laurene Powell Jobs ($16.8 billion), Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey ($14.2 billion), and investor Charles Schwab ($12.6 billion).

In 2012, after Durov reportedly raked in $260 million through his social networking site VKontakte, the then-27-year-old made headlines by throwing 5,000-ruble notes (now worth about $70 USD) from his office windows in Saint Petersburg, Russia, spurring a fight for the money in the street below.

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He later told TechCrunch that he got the idea after a VKontakte vice president refused a cash bonus. So he and the VKontakte veep started making paper airplanes out of the banknotes. “This one of the funniest moments in the history of our company,” he said, recalling the stunt.

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He works on Telegram with brother Nikolai Durov

Though Telegram is “fully owned” by Pavel Durov, as the company told Reuters, his brother Nikolai Durov also supports the messaging platform. “Pavel supports Telegram financially and ideologically, while Nikolai’s input is technological,” the Telegram website explains. “To make Telegram possible, Nikolai developed a unique custom data protocol, which is open, secure, and optimized for work with multiple data centers. As a result, Telegram combines security, reliability, and speed on any network.”

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Pavel Durov marked his 37th birthday by listing “3 undervalued and 7 overvalued things in life”

On his Telegram channel, Durov listed “3 undervalued and 7 overvalued things in life” to mark his 37th birthday on Oct. 10. Undervalued things in life, Durov wrote, include sleep (which “gives a boost to immunity, creativity, and psychological well-being”), nature (“the environment that we are biologically designed to feel good in”), and solitude (which “offers the freedom to make spiritual and intellectual breakthroughs”).

Overvalued in life, he opined, are big cities (“sources of pollution, crime, and noise”), restaurants (“the slowest and least efficient way to eat”), hot weather (“a risk of cancer and faster aging”), fashion (“expensive and unnecessary”), real estate (“a questionable investment”), social media (“the incessant flow of junk cluttering our minds”), and celebrity advice (“unwarranted advice outside their fields of expertise”).


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