ByteDance Eyeing Virtual Reality Market With West Coast Hiring Push

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

ByteDance Eyeing Virtual Reality Market With West Coast Hiring Push
Photo by Mallika Singh

TikTok parent company ByteDance is reportedly planning to expand its virtual reality operations in the U.S.

After acquiring VR headset company Pico last year, China-based ByteDance is preparing to invest “tons of money” into VR-based games and experiences, sources told tech outlet Protocol.


As part of its expansion, ByteDance is currently making a sizable hiring push on the West Coast, where it has job listings for more than 40 positions—including roles related to content, hardware and sales—in California and Washington. According to Protocol, ByteDance has also shifted some TikTok employees over to Pico, such as business development executive Sally Wang.

ByteDance’s ambitions for Pico signal a willingness to compete with Meta in the virtual reality-fueled metaverse. Sources told Protocol that Pico is willing to spend on VR content titles that have already been licensed to Meta and also go head-to-head on hardware, where its Neo 3 Link headset is disadvantaged by a higher price point (450 euros, or about $480) compared to Meta’s Quest 2 ($299).

TikTok has made its own forays into VR and augmented reality (AR) via Effect House, a platform that allows users to create their own AR effects on the video-sharing app. But its investments still lag far behind those of Meta, which will reportedly pour $10 billion to $15 billion this year on its VR, AR and metaverse efforts, including on more hardware and new features.

And Meta isn’t Pico’s only competition in the space: Snap has also made VR and AR a key part of its new product offerings, while entertainment giants like Disney have made no secret of their designs for the metaverse.

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Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients
Courtesy of Regard

Culver City-based health care startup Regard, which uses AI-driven software to help physicians accurately diagnose patients, has raised $15.3 million in Series A funding.

Pasadena-based Calibrate Ventures and Colorado-based Foundry Group led the investment in Regard, formerly known as HealthTensor. Other investors that participated in the round include TenOneTen Ventures, Susa Ventures, Brook Byers of Byers Capital and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. The new funding will be used to grow Regard’s team and customer base, the company said in a press release.

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This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund
Image by Joshua Letona

This week in “Raises”: A local healthcare startup secured funding to help grow the team and deploy its software to more physicians and hospitals, while Black-led, seed-stage venture capital firm surpassed its goal for its second fund.

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Braid Theory's Plan to Foster the Next Generation of Ocean Tech Startups

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Braid Theory's Plan to Foster the Next Generation of Ocean Tech Startups
Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

San Pedro-based Braid Theory is one of the growing number of accelerators in the country looking to grow the so-called blue economy, which spans a range of ocean-related industries and is estimated at $2.5 trillion a year.

The accelerator is accepting online applications until July 18, with its second-ever program kicking off in August.

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