A 17-year-old London schoolboy has made big news, after he sold his news app company to Yahoo, for an estimated £18m. Nick D'Aloisio hails from Wimbledon in south London, had created the app called Summly – which provides crisp summaries of content from various news sites. The total transaction value is understood to be £18m, assumed to be 90% in cash and 10% in shares at Yahoo. However, some reports suggested the total could go up to as much as £40m.
D'Aloisio, who learnt how to write code for apps when he was 12 years old, developed the Summly app at the age of 15. The application was made for the iPhone, and till the time it was pulled from the Apple App Store after the announcement of the Yahoo deal, had clocked 1 million downloads. The application had content deals with 250 news sources globally, including the Rupert Murdoch owned News Corp., and was managed by a team of 10 employees based in London. Over a period of time, D’Aloisio got monetary backing from Horizons Ventures, the venture capital arm of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing as well as Zynga Inc.'s Mark Pincus and actor Ashton Kutcher.
“We will be removing Summly from the App Store today but expect our summarization technology will soon return to multiple Yahoo! products - see this as a ‘power nap' so to speak”, Nick says in a post on his website.
This could be a big acquisition for Yahoo, as it aims to refresh and rebuild its offerings, after having lost relevance significantly, at least in the smartphone ecosystem.
"To me, Yahoo is the best company to be joining right now because it's one of these classic Internet companies," D'Aloisio said in an interview. "With new leadership from Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has a strong focus on mobile and product, and that's the perfect fit for Summly."
D'Aloisio, who is currently on a break from studies for a short period to give complete focus to Summly, will join Yahoo's London office. Meanwhile, he will continue with his education. "Technology has really been the driver behind this whole deal. I can't wait to see how it plays out at Yahoo", he says.