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As the pandemic shut down, cancelled and delayed events people had been looking forward to, Wave co-founder and CEO Adam Arrigo saw an opportunity.

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Virtual avatar company Genies wants to be the go-to option for online personas and it's targeting the wealth of talent and seasoned executives from the area's biggest tech firm, Snap Inc., to help make that goal a reality.

Genies' latest hire from the Venice-based social camera company is George "YJ" Tu, a former senior engineer who worked on its Snapchat app and Spectacles camera glasses. Prior to working at Snap, Tu worked for three and a half years as a senior engineer at Facebook and specialized in developing the company's mobile infrastructure.

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Bitmojis are getting an upgrade on Snapchat with a new 3-D design that rolls out Monday.

Snap Inc. is decking out its avatars with more than 1,200 combinations of poses, gestures and backgrounds like cow prints and beach locations. The new avatars are full-body designs with new "Pixar"-like quality that can be shared on and off the platform.

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