Rap Genius Adds $40 Million, Expands Beyond Rap As Genius.com
(UPDATED) Its been a rocky and controversial few months for Rap Genius, but persistence appears to have paid off. The platform, which launched as a repository of information about rap music, has added $40 million in Series B funding led by Dan Gilbert. With the cash influx, the sight will re-brand a Genius.com and move beyond rap. The new funding brings the company's total to $55.6 million at a valuation under $1 billion.
Over the last year, Rap Genius has tussled with music publishers over rights, Google over online marketing tactics and just about everyone else after a co-founder posted a distasteful commentary. He was quickly booted from the company.
But, despite the turmoil, Rap Genius had developed a platform that effectively combines knowledge and opinion from multiple sources. Now the site is expanding beyond rap with Genius.com, a "grand project, born from rap's rib, to annotate the world."
"Genius does for everything what Rap Genius did for Rap," wrote early investor and rap aficionado Ben Horowitz of Andreesen Horowitz. Rap Genius will continue alongside Rock Genius, Lit Genius and other knowledge communities, as part of the new Genius.com hub.