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ByteDance Acquires Virtual Reality Startup Pico for Estimated $772M

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by Steve Muchoki · 2 min read
ByteDance Acquires Virtual Reality Startup Pico for Estimated $772M
Photo: Pico Interactive / Facebook

In the first quarter of 2021, Pico was identified as the third-largest virtual reality headset maker in the world.

ByteDance, an internet technology company behind TikTok and Douyin, has made a strategic acquisition of virtual reality startup, Pico. Although the financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, it is estimated the company parted with $772 million.

Although still a private company, ByteDance continues to make notable moves in the technology global sector more than public tech companies. Thereby the company has been competing with globally and publicly traded tech companies including Facebook, and Microsoft on a higher level.

Notably, Pico has made notable strides in the virtual reality world. In the first quarter of 2021, Pico was identified as the third-largest virtual reality headset maker in the world. According to its financial reporting, the company reported shipment growth of approximately 44.7% year-on-year.

As a result, ByteDance anticipates making huge strides in the VR sector, as more focus points towards the VR tech industry.

“We are optimistic about the future of VR and its alignment with our mission,” a ByteDance spokesperson said.

According to IDC analyst Claire Zhao, the partnerships between ByteDance and Pico will help it build its VR ecosystems. “The investment and support of internet companies are beneficial for the VR industry because of their content and new technologies,” said Zhao.

Founded back in 2015 by Henry Zhou Hongwei, Pico has grown tremendously to directly employ over 300 people.

Bigger Picture on ByteDance Acquisition of Pico

The technology industry continues to play a critical role in the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. ByteDance is eyeing different tech-related startups to help diversify its earnings besides reaching out to more global markets.

By investing in Pico, ByteDance shows its long-term interest in the global tech sector, particularly virtual reality. Notably, the global sales of virtual reality headsets are expected to hit $28.6 million by 2025.

Reportedly, Pico is preparing to launch a new VR headset dubbed Neo 3 by the end of this year. From the bigger picture, ByteDance will be in a position to further diversify its investments and capitalize on its returns.

Most are the times that ByteDance uses its popularity on one platform to advertise its upcoming businesses. Further, its huge customer base on successful platforms is likely to proliferate on other new business ideas.

Notably, Pico has been involved in prior private funding including the rounds B and B+ that were concluded in March 2021 with approximately $67.23.

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Steve Muchoki

A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies. Mythology is my mystery! "You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself."

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