WSJ: After $100 Million Malibu Purchase, WhatsApp Co-Founder Jan Koum Pays $87 Million for the Home Next Door

  • Mark Gruskin
  • 03/16/21
 
The clifftop property includes a funicular down to the ocean that was built by late country singer Kenny Rogers.

Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp, is paying $87 million for a Malibu, Calif. mansion right next door to one he already owns, according to two people familiar with the deal.

The transaction is the latest big-ticket deal for Mr. Koum in the Los Angeles area. In 2019 he purchased the neighboring Malibu property from entertainment executive Ron Meyer for $100 million. Then last year Mr. Koum spent $125 million for the Beverly Hills estate of Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The seller in the latest transaction is Diana Jenkins, a Bosnia-born entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Ms. Jenkins, the founder of health-drinks company Neuro Drinks, was previously married to British financier Roger Jenkins. Her home came on the market last May for $125 million, The Wall Street Journal reported. It is on Malibu’s Paradise Cove, and its prior owners include Barry Diller and the late country singer Kenny Rogers.

Sitting on a clifftop, the property has its own funicular leading down to the ocean (Mr. Rogers was slapped with a $2 million fine by local authorities for installing it.). On nearly 3 acres, it includes a single-story, five-bedroom house with vaulted ceilings, herringbone floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the gardens. It also has a dance studio and a recording studio. On the grounds, there is a three-bedroom guesthouse, a swimming pool, a waterfall and koi pond, a sports court, and a guardhouse.

The funicular leads to an oceanfront cabana, which has retractable ceilings, a wet bar, a built-in barbecue, and a fire pit.

Mr. Koum, 44 helped launch WhatsApp, an internet messaging service, in 2009. Following the service’s acquisition by Facebook in 2014, he remained as a Facebook director for several years before stepping down in 2018. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index pegs his net worth at $12.5 billion.

The buyer was represented by Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency.

About Mark S. Gruskin

Partner, Westside Estate Agency, LA’s premier luxury real estate firm.

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