Reports: TikTok Plans IPO, Considers Instagram Co-Founder as CEO

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Reports: TikTok Plans IPO, Considers Instagram Co-Founder as CEO

TikTok's Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance is reportedly planning to hold an initial public offering in the U.S. if President Donald Trump approves a deal with Oracle. The move hopes to avert Trump's ban of the popular app set to take effect next week.


On Wednesday, the Treasury Department provided ByteDance with revisions to the agreement the two companies have tentatively signed off on. Various media reported that Oracle will own a stake of TikTok, but how much each would own is unclear. Walmart may also be part of that arrangement. Any deal still must be cleared by Trump.

Walmart had previously sought to join a deal with Microsoft Corp, but their bid was rejected by ByteDance.

TikTok is also reportedly hunting for a new CEO and multiple outlets Thursday report Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom is being considered.

Sunday will mark 45 days since Trump signed an executive order stating TikTok must strike a deal in the country or risk being banned. The administration accuses TikTok of collecting U.S. users data and sharing it with the Chinese government, a risk to national security. TikTok denies this.

If TikTok went public, it could be one of the largest tech IPOs yet. Some investors have valued the company at $50 billion.
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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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