Teen Sells Business To Yahoo For $30 Million

A teenager just sold his business to Yahoo for $30 million.

Nick D’Aloisio launched Summly two years ago at the age of 15 to deliver beautiful and concise summaries of news through an iPhone App. Nick announced the sale on his blog:

“I am delighted to announce Summly has signed an agreement to be acquired by Yahoo!. Our vision is to simplify how we get information and we are thrilled to continue this mission with Yahoo!’s global scale and expertise.”

It’s great news for Nick, but not really so great for Summly users. Yahoo says it will close down the Summly app and integrate the technology into Yahoo “mobile experiences.”

With a constant flood of news from all kinds of information sources, Nick’s idea was to use natural language processing and machine learning to generate bite-sized news that is easy to consume on mobile devices. He coded an algorithm that generates summarization of news so readers can quickly see what’s happening and then click through to the original source for the full story.

Nick taught himself to code at age 12 and got a tremendous amount of respect from the tech community when he launched Summly because it is a really good app. The app grew quickly into a company after investors including Horizons Ventures, Mark Pincus, Matt Mullenweg, and Ashton Kutcher provided funding.

“I designed Summly because I felt that my generation wasn’t consuming traditional news anymore,” said D’Aloisio. “In designing for the mobile generation, I believe we’ve created an app that will benefit anyone who loves reading news on the go.”

Mary Meeker, one of the most widely respected venture capitalists said, “Nick and team have cleverly re-imagined how content will be consumed on mobile devices. With the Summly app, not only does the ‘who, what, when, where and how’ of content rise to the top, Summly has the potential to create an ecosystem for the best content to be distributed more broadly.’

It’s great to see Nick D’Aloisio become a millionaire by building a great product. It would be nice if Yahoo integrated the technology without shutting down the Summly App. That approach was good for Flickr. Why not Summly?