Business News Deals Digital Media

Lyrics site Genius sells for $80 million

By | Published on Friday 17 September 2021


Lyrics hub Genius – formerly Rap Genius, of course – has been bought by a California-based media holding company for $80 million. The new buyer, MediaLab, has celebrated acquiring the music site by making some people redundant.

“We are restructuring the way in which original content is produced at Genius and as part of that some very talented individuals on the content and production teams were let go”, the buyer said in a statement.

The Genius sales, product and engineering teams are not affected by the downsizing, however, it seems, with MediaLab stating: “The scale of the community platform is what attracted us to Genius and this is where we will be heavily investing going forward, with a renewed focus on emerging artists”.

According to Bloomberg, the sale of Genius confirms that the site, although still popular with its core audience, hasn’t quite lived up to the hype it enjoyed in investment circles a few years back.

Citing Pitchbook, Bloomberg says that the Genius “price tag of $80 million represents less than what it raised over the years in venture capital”.

The newswire adds: “Because the company’s obligations to its preferred shareholders exceeded the sale price, investors won’t be paid out in full. Genius finalised the deal to sell its assets this week, with $60 million paid on closing and $20 million to be paid in two years”.

Commenting on the deal from the Genius side, the site’s co-founder and CEO Tom Lehman states: “MediaLab’s commitment to investing in artists and fan-driven communities makes them the ideal partner to propel Genius forward. We are immensely grateful to everyone who has made Genius what it is today”.