Yahoo has recently stepped up its acquisitions of mobile talent, including acquisitions of Stamped and Jybe. However, the most recent acquisition announced by Yahoo also has a twist. Yahoo just announced that it has acquired mobile news aggregator Summly. What is the twist? Summly was founded in 2011 by Nick D’Aloisio, age 15. The acquisition was reported to have been priced at $30 million.
The 15 year old D’Aloisio founded Summly out of his London home. He initially raised $300,000 in seed funding from Li Ka-shing and Horizons Ventures. He later raised another $1.23 million. Funding came from notable names such as Ashton Kutcher, Yoko Ono and Wendy Murdoch.
What is Summly? The iPhone app allows users to easily find and view news. The app also defines a Summly as “A summarised version of a website or article.” The app works by using artificial language and natural language processing. App users can separate news into multiple customizable categories.
What exactly does Yahoo plan to do with the mobile news aggregator? This is as of yet unclear. It is known that Summly’s team is going to be joining Yahoo in the future. Additionally it is known that the app will stop working. It is expected to close in Q2. Here is part of the statement from Yahoo’s corporate blog, regarding future plans for Summly:
“While the Summly app will close, you will see the technology come to life throughout Yahoo!’s mobile experiences soon. So stay tuned! Mobile devices are at the center of how we engage with people, experiences and interests we love. Across Yahoo!, we’re focused on creating beautiful experiences that people are excited to use every day — products that inspire and delight. We can’t wait to work with Nick and the Summly team to do just that.”
As of now, it looks as though we will have to wait to see exactly what Yahoo has planned. Though, as they have acquired the entire team, it appears likely that with the expansion of Yahoo!’s mobile presence, the technology will work much the same as what we have already seen from Summly.