Low-profile tech entrepreneur George Ruan became an overnight billionaire earlier this year when Honey, the electronic coupon-clipping browser extension he co-founded with Ryan Hudson in 2012, was sold to PayPal for $4 billion in cash. That unprecedented mega-deal ranks as the biggest tech acquisition in Los Angeles history, easily eclipsing the $2 billion that Facebook paid for Oculus VR back in 2014. (Despite the sale, Ruan continues to officially lead the Honey team.)
Honey provides its clients with sweet deals on a wide variety of eCommerce websites, and the company sports approximately 17 million monthly users. To most millennials and Gen Z-ers, however, Honey remains likely best-known for its prominent YouTube presence — the firm frequently sponsors the videos of mega-successful YouTubers, most notably Shane Dawson, David Dobrik and various members of Dobrik’s so-called Vlog Squad.
As his proverbial cup runneth over with cash, Honey’s newly-minted tech tycoon has sought investment shelter in L.A.’s trusty luxury real estate market. As was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Ruan and his longtime wife have paid exactly $60 million — in cash — for a brand-new Bel Air estate that’s still unfinished and under construction.
Since the deal was consummated off-market and the property was never publicly available for sale, exact specifications and photos of the new structure are few and far between. But the 21,000 sq. ft., megamansion-sized structure was designed by the highly in-demand, South Africa-based architecture firm SAOTA and features a contemporary motif with blocky angles, lots of glass and an open-concept floorplan.
Renderings of the titanic compound reveal the house has three full floors — including a partially subterranean level that runs underneath the outdoor infinity pool — and additionally offers formal gardens, a sunken outdoor lounge centered around a firepit, and an extraordinarily grand approach with a long gated driveway, towering palm trees and a formal koi pond/fountain combo. Naturally, the house also offers unobstructed jetliner views of the entire L.A. basin, from the Downtown L.A. skyline to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.
The property is located in upper Bel Air, just a bit up the road from Nile Niami’s still-unfinished $500 million The One compound, and was developed as part of the Viewpoint Collection, an impressive portfolio of new luxury residences built and sold as part of the ongoing Woodbridge settlement proceedings.
The Ruans are upgrading to Bel Air from their current main residence, a “starter” home out in L.A.’s Playa Vista neighborhood, within the coveted greater Silicon Beach area. Records show they paid $3 million for that far more modest — if still pricey — house about three years ago.
Tomer Fridman and Sally Forster Jones of Compass held the off-market listing; Branden and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland repped the buyers.