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DatPiff Owner MediaLab Buys Genius for $80M

Lyric and annotation hub Genius has been acquired by the tech holding company MediaLab for $80 million, Genius tells Billboard. The deal is nearly equal to the $77.7 million in funding Genius has raised in to date, according to Crunchbase. Launched in 2009 as Rap Genius, the Brooklyn-based company quickly rose to prominence as it became the de facto website to analyze and research the meaning behind the lyrics of rap’s biggest superstars.

Founded by Tom Lehman, Ilan Zechory and Mahbod Moghadam, Rap Genius rebranded itself as Genius in 2014. The company has had a series of high-profile partnerships with major music streams -- from a lyric deal with Spotify to display context behind songs, to a built-in Apple Music player on the Genius website -- and even launched its own livestreaming platform last year called Genius Live. But none of its initiatives were enough to move its valuation up in the past few years. The result is a sale that will come with job cuts.


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