Last year, Jan Koum paid Jeffrey Katzenberg a shocking $125 million — in cash — for a hilltop estate lording above the fashionable Trousdale Estates neighborhood in Beverly Hills. But it seems that property’s 6+ acres of space just don’t provide enough breathing room for the WhatsApp cofounder, and so the Ukraine-born tech tycoon, 45, has dropped another $13.5 million to buy an adjacent house — this one a striking midcentury modern sold by Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber.
Koum has a habit of buying his neighbors’ homes. Earlier this year, he doled out a whopping $87 million to buy a Malibu mansion right next door to his main Paradise Cove residence, a $100 million Richard Meier-designed property. (That $87 million deal remains the biggest SoCal residential transaction of 2021, so far.) And his $100 million main estate up north in the Silicon Valley town of Atherton, Calif., has been cobbled together by buying no fewer than five neighboring houses.
Originally listed a year ago for nearly $16 million, Crawford and her businessman husband didn’t profit as mightily on the 90210 deal as they’d hoped. But the sale price is still well over the $11.6 million they paid OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder for the place back in 2017. Incidentally, Tedder had picked up the house from producer Gregory Goodman (“X-Men: First Class,” “8 Mile”) and garden designer Paul Langh for about $7.5 million in 2014, before extensively renovating and expanding the late-1950s midcentury modern time capsule.
It’s not clear what Koum, who sold his WhatsApp messaging service to Facebook for $22 billion in 2014 and today has a personal net worth topping $10 billion, plans to do with his “spare” Beverly Hills home, but his latest acquisition is hidden behind a gated driveway and offers a substantial motorcourt and streamlined three-car garage. Double doors open to reveal 5,400 square feet of living space spread across a single level, and walls of glass drink in the lushly landscaped grounds. There are soaring ceilings, hardwood floors and ample wall space for a trophy art collection.
One interior standout is a sizable double living room boasting a paper mâché-like central column embedded with a linear fireplace and walk-in wet bar. Other highlights include a dark-hued media room barricaded behind sliding black doors, plus a sleek gourmet kitchen outfitted with marble countertops, an eat-in island and designer stainless appliances.
The master retreat is sequestered within its own wing of the home; the bedroom opens to the natural elements via sliding glass doors. The suite also packs in a sitting area, dressing room, and luxe bath with a soaking tub and standalone shower. Out back, the resort-style yard holds a pool and spa flanked by daybeds, and a firepit lounge area shaded by a strategically placed tree.
Both buyer and seller were repped by Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency.