Telegram CEO Plays Down 'billionaire' Claims; 'I Don't Own Jets, Creation More Rewarding'

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov has a net worth of $15 billion and owns a platform that has over 500 million active users and a market cap of $30 billion.

Telegram CEO Plays Down 'billionaire' Claims; 'I Don't Own Jets, Creation More Rewarding'

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov is one of the world's richest men who shot to fame after the creation of the social media platform in 2013. The Telegram messenger app, which has over 500 million active users and a market capitalisation of $30 billion, helped Durov build a fortune worth $15 billion, according to Forbes.

Despite such enormous wealth, Durov claims to be a humble billionaire who does not own any private jets, yachts, houses or even cars. He also said that creating things feels more rewarding to him than the consumption of materials. 

"In his recent post on his official Telegram channel, Durov wrote, "The media often calls me a billionaire, but, unlike most billionaires, I don't own jets, yachts, cars or houses. Creating things always seemed to me a more rewarding activity than engaging in consumption."

Born in St. Petersburg of the now-defunct USSR in 1984, Durov claims that he was forced to flee Russia 15 years ago as he refused to cooperate with the Kremlin's secret service over providing data of his social media site's users, according to Forbes. Following his exit from Russia, he moved to Dubai in 2017 and later acquired French citizenship in 2021. 

He was recently in the headlines for sharing a post on his history of protecting user data from the Russian government after Moscow launched an invasion of Ukraine. "Nine years ago I was the CEO of VK, which was the largest social network in Russia and Ukraine. In 2013, the Russian security agency, FSB, demanded that I provide them the private data of the Ukrainian users of VK who were protesting against a pro-Russian President", he wrote in a lengthy Telegram post.