Lyrics agency Genius acquired for $80m by MediaLab

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Los Angeles-based MediaLab.Ai Inc. has acquired New York-based lyrics company Genius for $80 million.

The acquisition was first reported by Bloomberg.

According to MediaLab’s website, the holding company attracts 80 million users each month across its portfolio of brands.

In a statement issued to Bloomberg, MediaLab says that “some very talented individuals on the content and production teams were let go” following the acquisition.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, however, Bloomberg reports that the firm won’t make cuts within Genius’s sales, product or engineering teams.

Genius is a lyrics database, editorial publisher, and digital media company founded in August 2009.

The company enables users to annotate song lyrics with interpretations about each line’s meaning. It also publishes news stories and features about artists.

Over the years, more than two million contributors have uploaded information to the Genius platform.

Genius originally launched under the Rap Genius brand with a focus on hip-hop.

Its CEO is one of its original co-founders, Tom Lehman.

In March 2018, Genius raised $15m in an investment round. The funding was led by Everblue, a new fund by Eric Mindich primarily focused on music and e-sports.

Existing Genius investors and board members Dan Gilbert and Andreessen Horowitz also participated in the round.

“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,” MediaLab said in a statement to Bloomberg.

“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.

“We are immensely grateful to everyone who has made Genius what it is today.”

Tom Lehman, Genius

Speaking to Bloomberg, Genius Co-Founder and Chief Executive officer Tom Lehman, said: “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.”Music Business Worldwide

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