Skip to main content

Yahoo to buy teenager's brain child

By Oliver Joy, CNN
updated 12:13 PM EDT, Tue March 26, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Summly app delivers snapshots of news stories to its users on mobile
  • D'Aloisio started the company at 15 and gained support from Aston Kutcher and Stephen Fry
  • In November, Yahoo! boss Marissa Mayer said the company would focus on mobile

(CNN) -- Silicon Valley giant Yahoo is turning to a 17-year-old to boost the company's mobile development by acquiring the teenager's tech start-up in a reported multi-million dollar deal.

Summly -- the brain child of London-based boy genius Nick D'Aloisio -- delivers automated snapshots of news stories to its users on mobile devices and formats articles for the small screen.

D'Aloisio started the company when he was 15 and quickly attracted investors, including Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing and Hollywood stars Ashton Kutcher and Stephen Fry.

In a statement on the Summly website, teenager D'Aloisio paid tribute to his friends, family and users while adding that Yahoo! is the "perfect fit" for the start-up company, which received Apple's Best Apps of 2012 award for Intuitive Touch.

Much ado over Yahoo
Was Marissa Mayer out of line?

In November, Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer said the U.S. multinational would start focusing more on mobile strategy particularly on news, sports and apps.

In a blog post announcing the deal, Adam Cahan, senior vice president of mobile and emerging products at Yahoo, wrote: "Mobile devices are at the center of how we engage with the people experiences and interests we love."

Cahan added: "Most articles and web pages were formatted for browsing with mouse clicks. The ability to skim them on a phone or a tablet can be a real challenge... Summly solves this by delivering snapshots of stories, giving you a simple and elegant way to find the news you want, faster than ever before."

Although the details of the deal are not disclosed, the acquisition is likely to make a millionaire of teenager D'Aloisio, who will now join Yahoo! Cahan asks for Summly users to "stay tuned" as the app gets ready to reappear as part of Yahoo!'s mobile arsenal.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:17 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
updated 12:33 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
About $35,000 was taken from the bank accounts of four passengers on board Flight 370.
updated 9:57 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
updated 1:32 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The execution of a journalist by a British-accented jihadist is a direct challenge to the international community. It's time for the U.S. to move, writes Frida Ghitis.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 11:35 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
updated 5:04 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT