Brooklyn-based lyrics database company Genius was acquired by MediaLab in an $ 80 million deal.
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MediaLab, the apps and media company that also owns Kik, Whisper, Datpiff, Worldstar Hip Hop and Amino, among others, claims 80 million active users across its portfolio of websites and apps. However, as part of the acquisition, MediaLab is laying off certain Genius employees.
MediaLab confirmed the layoffs in a statement to Bloomberg, stating: “We are restructuring the way original content is produced at Genius and as part of that, some very talented people in the content and production teams have been laid off.” Bloomberg noted that this source told them that no one from Genius’ sales, product or engineering teams had been fired.
The Genius statement continued, âThe scale of the community platform is what drew us to Genius and this is where we will invest heavily in the future, with a renewed focus on emerging artists. “
Bloomberg also noted that the company’s obligations to its preferred shareholders exceed the purchase price, which means investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Quicken Loans, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, and artists Eminem, Nas and Pharrell Williams, will not be paid in full.
Talk to Variety, Genius has confirmed the acquisition. âMediaLab’s commitment to investing in artists and fan communities makes it the perfect partner to propel Genius forward. Genius wouldn’t be here without the tireless efforts of our entire team.
âWe are extremely grateful to everyone who made Genius what it is today. “
Genius claims over 100 million global users and 2 million contributors, and previously launched Genius Live, an interactive live streaming platform for concerts and arts events in 2020.