Tuesday, March 26, 2013

British teen sells mobile news app to Yahoo for GBP 18 million


A 17-year-old London school boy has made big news, after he sold his news app company to Yahoo, for an estimated 18 million. Nick D'Aloisio hails from Wimbledon in South London, had created the app called Summly - which provides crisp summaries of news content from various sites. The total transaction value is understood to be 18 million pounds, assumed to be 90 percent in cash and 10 percent in shares at Yahoo. However, some reports suggested that the total could go up to as much as 40 million pounds.

D'Aloisio, who learnt how to write code for apps when he was 12 years old, developed the app at the age of 15. The app was made for the iPhone, and till the time it was pulled from the Apple app store after the announcement of the Yahoo deal, has cloaked 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 Hongkong 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 summarisation 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.


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