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WhatsApp’s Jan Koum Pays $87 Million for the Malibu House Next Door

James McClain
·2 min read

In recent years, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has become widely known for two things: his love of rare Porsches and his collection of $100+ million homes, the latter of which has been assembled over the past few years. Besides his $100 million main estate up north in Atherton, Calif. — where he’s got an outrageous garage that’s itself bigger than many “ordinary” mansions — the multibillionaire tech tycoon has embarked on a spending spree down in Los Angeles. Back in August 2019, he paid exactly $100 million for Ron Meyer’s longtime Malibu home, and the following summer he spent another $125 million to buy Jeffrey Katzenberg’s enormous Beverly Hills compound.

Koum’s three-acre Malibu estate is sandwiched between two other similarly large and lavish properties, one of them owned by Bosnia-born socialite Diana Jenkins, the other by billionaire Public Storage heiress Tamara Gustavson. Seeking a little more elbow room, Koum has now forked out $87 million to acquire Jenkins’ property, which had been on the market for a sky-high $125 million. The deal, easily the biggest SoCal residential transaction to close so far this year, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to her carefully crafted status as a jetsetting socialite — pre-COVID, she’d regularly travel the globe with celeb friends like Elton John and David Furnish — Jenkins is also a philanthropist and entrepreneur, the founder of energy beverage brand Neuro Drinks. The 48-year-old became wealthy through her marriage to English financier Roger “Big Dog” Jenkins, who was at one point the highest-paid banker in all of Europe.

It could be surprising that Jenkins would agree to sell to Koum, particularly since the neighbors not always gotten along. Quite the opposite, in fact — last year, Koum sued Jenkins for pruning hedges on his property without permission, and the WhatsApp titan also accused her of “Karen-like behavior” toward his Black security guard. Allegedly, of course.

But money talks, and so Jenkins will walk with $87 million, significantly under her $125 million asking price but still more than quadruple the $21 million she paid for the place 16 years ago, way back in May 2005. And Koum, who sold WhatsApp to Facebook for $22 billion and whose personal net worth reportedly tops $10 billion, is seemingly thrilled about spending nearly nine figures to send her packing.

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