Telegram prepares to monetize – TechCrunch

Telegram will introduce ads, TikTok’s parent company is moving into drug discovery and President Trump continues his battle against Section 230. This is your Daily Crunch for December 23, 2020.

The big story: Telegram prepares to monetize

Telegram founder Pavel Durov said the messaging app will introduce advertising next year on public one-to-many channels. Durov wrote on his Telegram channel the ad platform will be “one that is user-friendly, respects privacy and allows us to cover the costs of server and traffic.”

He also pointed to premium stickers as another way that Telegram could monetize, while emphasizing that existing features will remain free and that he does not support showing ads in private chats.

In addition to discussing the company’s monetization plans, Durov said that Telegram is “approaching” 500 million users.

The tech giants

Nikola’s stock crashes after announcing cancelation of contract with Republic Services for 2,500 garbage trucks — This is the latest deal to unravel for Nikola as it tries to patch up following recent devastating reports.

TikTok parent ByteDance hiring for AI drug discovery team — “We are looking for candidates to join our team and conduct cutting-edge research in drug discovery and manufacturing powered by AI algorithms,” the company said in a job posting.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Chinese autonomous driving startup WeRide bags $200M in funding — The new funding will see WeRide joining hands with Yutong, a 57-year-old company, to make autonomous-driving minibuses and city buses.

Voyager Space Holdings to acquire majority stake in commercial space leader Nanoracks — Nanoracks provided the Bishop Airlock that was installed on the International Space Station.

Honk introduces a real-time, ephemeral messaging app aimed at Gen Z — Instead of sending texts off into the void and hoping for a response, friends on Honk communicate via messages that are shown live as you type.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Dear Sophie: What’s ahead for US immigration in 2021? — Sophie Alcorn weighs in on what’s next for U.S. visas and green cards.

Looking ahead after 2020’s epic M&A spree — This year, four deals involving chip companies totaled over $100 billion on their own.

Heading into 2021: Venture fundraising, liquidity and the everything bubble — Alex Wilhelm’s final column of the year.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Trump vetoes major defense bill, citing Section 230 — President Trump has vetoed the $740 million National Defense Authorization Act, a major bill that allocates military funds each year.

XRP cryptocurrency crashes following announcement of SEC suit against Ripple — The XRP token’s value has declined more than 42% in the past 24 hours.

TaskRabbit is resetting customer passwords after finding ‘suspicious activity’ on its network — The company later confirmed the activity was a credential stuffing attack, where existing sets of exposed or breached usernames and passwords are matched against different websites to access accounts.

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