Summly’s 17-year-old founder becomes multi-millionaire with Yahoo’s $30 million acquisition

“Nick D’Aloisio became a millionaire at 17 after selling a mobile-phone application he came up with at home in London two years ago to Yahoo! Inc.,” Douglas MacMillan and Amy Thomson report for Bloomberg.

“The largest U.S. Web portal announced on its blog yesterday a deal to acquire Summly, an app which makes it easier to read news on smaller screens, without disclosing financial details,” MacMillan and Thomson report. “Yahoo agreed to pay $30 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction.”

“D’Aloisio, who will join Yahoo along with some members of his team, has been building applications for handsets since he was 12,” MacMillan and Thomson report. “His parents will keep the money from the sale in a trust fund for him, he said.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer<br>(photo by Brigitte Lacombe)
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
(photo by Brigitte Lacombe)
MacMillan and Thomson report, “D’Aloisio said he’d like to continue building companies after a stint at Yahoo and is particularly interested in artificial intelligence technology, such as Apple Inc.’s Siri. [Yahoo CEO Marissa] Mayer has said she sees the company building sites and technologies for daily activities such as checking e-mail and stock tickers. In January, she said she’s focused on technology that will personalize content from the Web and deliver it to people on their handheld devices. ‘We think about how do we take the Internet and order it for you,’ Mayer said.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. I’m thinking there is more there than meets the eye.

      This thing has a unique framework or something under the hood that caught her attention.

      That or these guys are just damn good devs and this is what it takes to secure the best iPhone developers.

      Guess we’ll find out in time

        1. +100

          There’s nothing a school can teach you that you can’t learn on your own. As for college. A total waste of money! Not going to college was the best decision I ever made.

        2. Whilst you are possibly correct, extrapolating what may or may not be appropriate for another individual or group using yourself as a single point of data would not be a sound basis for making a judgement call.

          He, or more likely his parents, want him rooted in the real world which, in the UK, means exams and university (which he can now more than adequately afford); that means that, if he suddenly goes all ‘rock and roll’ in his thirties and spends it all on wine, women and song (‘the rest he squandered’), he’ll still have something to fall back on.

  1. Meanwhile, 3 billion people in the world make less than $2 a day and are starving…

    Sumly is a piece of shit. Only reason it got acquired was because it was VC-backed. That, and the fact that the tech industry is a game of funny money with cartoon players.

    1. Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes, the bear eats you.

      Which is to say it’s an capricious world with unfair outcomes.

      It’s also a world with a warped sense of priorities where resources are not always distributed according to need, otherwise we’d be living in a socialist utopia. The fact that Yahoo – a company that makes nothing and makes money by sending bits, bytes and nibbles to computers and so-called ‘smart’ devices – exchanged a lot of paper for what is effectively intellectual property makes no odds to the 3 billion people to whom you refer; none of them will never know of D’Aloisio, his – now Yahoo’s – app or anything remotely connected to the information revolution.

      Even if Starbucks suddenly dumps $30 million on a set of Ethiopian coffee farmers – even over and above the added-value of their product – it makes no difference when the scale of the problem is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars.

      Far better to ask why there are ‘vulture funds’ that seek to take what little wealth these poorer nations have and then ask their governments why they often prioritise the acquisition of military technologies that are used for the suppression of domestic dissent over the health and welfare of their populations.

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