While the sports world went into a frenzy on Friday morning when Lebron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers that wasn’t the only big news for Cavaliers owner and tech investor Dan Gilbert. Right now Gilbert is in the spotlight for James’ move back to his hometown team, a team that he left in 2010 to join the mega threesome of James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. Gilbert wrote a harsh letter to Cleveland that was posted on the Cavaliers website until last week, when James originally left the franchise.
Gilbert just also led an investment round for the startup originally known as Rap Genius. You probably know Rap Genius it’s the funky site that lets you annotate all of your favorite hip hop songs. People have a great time adding context to the words of the music driving pop culture.
But along the way the folks at Rap Genius began to notice that it wasn’t just rap songs that were getting annotated on the platform. Poetry, literary works and even current events were annotated by the public at large. Rap Genius even hired an education czar who helped build up a loyal following of educators that could use the platform in a closed network setting to let their students annotate anything from Moby Dick to the works of William Shakespeare.
TechCrunch reported late Friday, after the news of Lebron James started to subside, that Gilbert along with Andreessen Horowitz invested $40 million dollars in the company’s series B round. That brings the total raised to $56 million in the company’s history.
Earlier this year Rap Genius, originally founded by Tom Lehman Ilan Zechory and Mahbod Moghadam found themselves one co-founder short. Moghadam was forced to resign after he annotated the manifesto from Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger’s Manifesto, and left some very insensitive comments.
But push forward they did.
With the new investment also comes a new name, just Genius leaving the rap part behind. No worries though you’ll still be able to annotate the next great hip hop songs from Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Riff Raff and many others, as that part of the service isn’t going anywhere. Now though, the company has realized that they built a very powerful annotation tool for just about any application.