Yahoo spends 'millions' on UK teen Nick D'Aloisio's Summly app


Nick D'Aloisio: "The idea came from revising for my exams"

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An app created by a UK teenager has been acquired by web giant Yahoo in a deal the BBC understands to be worth "dozens of millions" of pounds.

Seventeen-year-old Nick D'Aloisio's Summly app summarises news stories from popular media companies.

Neither company would disclose the terms of the deal publicly.

The app itself will now close, but its features will be used in mobile products at Yahoo, where Mr D'Aloisio has been given a job.

He will be joined by several of Summly's "top staff" in new roles at Yahoo in the next few weeks.

The app launched when Mr D'Aloisio was aged just 15, and soon attracted more than £1m of investment. He is now likely to be one of the world's youngest self-made multi-millionaires.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, the Wimbledon-based teen said: "I like shoes, I will buy a new pair of Nike trainers and I'll probably get a new computer, but at the moment I just want to save and bank it.

"I don't have many living expenses."

'Fantastic team'

In a note on the Summly blog, Mr D'Aloisio wrote on Monday: "When I founded Summly at 15, I would have never imagined being in this position so suddenly.

"I'd personally like to thank Li Ka-Shing and Horizons Ventures for having the foresight to back a teenager pursuing his dream. Also to our investors, advisers and of course the fantastic team for believing in the potential of Summly.

"Without you all, this never would have been possible. I'd also like to thank my family, friends and school for supporting me."

Yahoo's senior vice president of mobile, Adam Cahan, said the company was "excited" to have Mr D'Aloisio and his colleagues on board.

"For publishers, the Summly technology provides a new approach to drive interest in stories and reach a generation of mobile users that want information on the go," he wrote.

Less enthusiastic about the acquisition was app developer Little Fluffy Toys.

The London-based company was commissioned by Mr D'Aloisio to create an Android version of the Summly app - which was days away from launch.

Little Fluffy Toys director Kenton Price - who is also contracted by the BBC - said that his firm was told the Yahoo deal was on the cards, but was "disappointed" the app would now never be released.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    It seems thtere are 2 kinds of people commenting here:

    1) Those who focus on a bright teenager and say 'well done' (except a few who focus on family advantage)

    and 2) those who focus on the app and say - 'is that it?'.

    Those with a bit of technical or media knowledge tend to be baffled by Yahoo's payout. Doesn't mean they are bitter about the lad's success - just bemused ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    194. emma milton

    From the story it seems that one person earned Dozens of Millions for some software with little intrinsic value. Also their IP, creativity etc. have been absorbed into a big corporate media giant (US Based), whose first step was to close down the app.

    Is that success (for him yes, we'll done), or is it slightly obscene.

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    89. Vlad the Emailer "Isn't that a news aggregator? ...RSS does the pretty much the same thing".

    Yes, except rather than only serving content from MSM outlets, RSS feeds can be used to aggregate content from blogs too (I use one that contains around 60 fat acceptance sites). Sadly Google is shutting down their popular feeds service, and blogs themselves are being pushed aside by Tumblr, FB etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    Why do people so often resent, rather than celebrate, success?

    Can they really not appreciate that it is that negative attitude which is all too often the only real obstacle to personal achievement?

    It's not the money that 'rich' parents pass on... it's the positivity that brings riches!

    Life's an amazing free gift - enjoy it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    Congratulations to this whizzkid. If it is valuable technology which will make loads of money for Yahoo and pull in users, then he should be paid well for it. Why should commercial websites get tech cheaply? Some posters here have a ridiculous attitude to business.

    It's just as well the app was free, now it has been pulled. App buyers need to consider this when paying for apps.


Comments 5 of 197


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