WhatsApp co-founder drops $87M on Malibu mansion

Jan Koum’s latest purchase follows $100M he spent in 2019 on estate next door

Jan Koum and Diana Jenkins with 27560 Pacific Coast Highway (Getty, Google Maps)
Jan Koum and Diana Jenkins with 27560 Pacific Coast Highway (Getty, Google Maps)

WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum’s message to Malibu is clear. He’s all in on the oceanside enclave.

The billionaire is buying a three-acre cliffside property for $87 million, which happens to be next door to the Paradise Cove estate he paid $100 million for in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The latest property at 27560 Pacific Coast Highway hit the market in May, asking $125 million. The five-bedroom mansion overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and includes a private funicular down to the beach. The home was once owned by the late country singer Kenny Rogers, who built the rail car system and was fined by the city $2 million. There is also a three-bedroom guesthouse, a pool, sports court, and koi pond.

The seller is Diana Jenkins, founder of Neuro Drinks and former wife of British banker Roger Jenkins.

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If the deal goes through, Koum will have spent more than $300 million on Los Angeles-area real estate in just three deals over an 18-month period. His latest acquisition is the smallest of those deals, despite its high eight-figure price tag.

In addition to the $100 million he paid NBC Universal executive Ron Meyer for the property next door in August 2019, Koum bought Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Beverly Hills estate for around $125 million almost exactly a year later. That marked the second-priciest deal in L.A. in 2020, behind Jeff Bezos’ $165 million purchase of 1801 Angelo Drive.

Malibu was the hottest residential market in the L.A. area last year, and that streak has continued in the new year. In the fourth quarter, median sales prices were up 71 percent. About 31 percent more homes traded in Q4 2020 compared to the same period the year before. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch