DEAL: Owner’s of TikTok step into virtual reality space with acquisition of Pico

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ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has made its first push into virtual reality (VR) with the acquisition of Pico, a start-up.

According to CNBC, ByteDance, based in Beijing, did not disclose the deal’s size, but stated in a statement that “Pico’s comprehensive suite of software and hardware technologies, as well as the talent and deep expertise of the team, will support both our entry to the VR space and long-term investment in this emerging field.”

The short video app, TikTok and its Chinese equivalent Douyin, as well as news aggregation service Toutiao, have all been successful for ByteDance. Its purchase of Pico is part of a larger effort to diversify its operations.

What you should know

  • Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated environment with realistic-looking images and objects that gives the user the feeling of being completely immersed in their surroundings. This environment is viewed through the use of a Virtual Reality headset or helmet.
  • Tech companies such as Facebook and Apple have made similar acquisitions to break into the spaces of virtual reality.
  • Pico was the third-largest virtual reality headset maker globally in the first quarter of 2021, with shipments growing 44.7% year-on-year, according to IDC.
  • In March, ByteDance acquired a major mobile gaming studio called Moonton for a reported $4 billion, as it looks to expand into gaming.

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