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. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
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 as it expanded into new music genres outside of hip-hop, even delving into annotating literature and at one point a presidential debate.