Newest Yahoo employees is a 17-year-old millionaire

26th March 2013 | By Mouseworld Now Correspondent |

Yahoo-logoNick D’Aloisio, a 17-year-old student sold his news-reading app Summly to Yahoo for a sum said to be in the tens of millions of dollars on Monday. The programming whiz kid’s algorithmic invention, would be incorporated by Yahoo  in its own mobile apps.

Summly takes long-form stories and shortens them for readers using smartphones.

In a telephonic interview on Monday, D’Aloisio said “I’ve still got a year and a half left at my high school.” But he will make arrangements to test out of his classes and work from the Yahoo office in London, partly to abide by the company’s much-debated policy prohibiting employees working from home.

AllThingsD, a technology news site, pegged the purchase price at about $30 million.
Summly’s investors included Wendi Murdoch, Ashton Kutcher and Yoko Ono.  , the Hong Kong billionaire  Li Ka-shing had invested to support D’Aloisio’s idea from the beginning, even before it came to be known as Summly.

D’Aloisio said, “They took a gamble on me when I was a 15-year-old by providing seed financing that let me hire employees and lease office space.”

Among D’Aloisio’s earlier apps is the one on TechCrunch.

D’Aloisio parried of questions about his age on Monday. He acknowledged that it was an advantage in some pitch meetings, and certainly in the news media, “but so was the strength of the idea.”

He eagerly talked about his new employer, Yahoo. Yahoo has been trying to reinvent itself as a mobile-first technology company after Marissa Mayer became chief executive.

D’Aloisio fascination with technology stated when he was only 12 when he started coding. He bumped into an idea to develop an app with what he calls an “automatic summarisation algorithm,” one that “can take pre-existing long-form content and summarise it.” Simply put,  it tries to solve a problem that is often summed up with the abbreviation tl;dr: “too long; didn’t read.”

Yahoo said in a statement that while the Summly app would be shut down, “we will acquire the technology and you’ll see it come to life throughout Yahoo’s mobile experiences soon.”

Recently, news-reading apps have attracted corporate attention as of late, reflecting the scramble by media companies to adapt to skyrocketing traffic from mobile devices. LinkedIn is also said to be pursuing an app called Pulse currently.

 

© Mouseworld Now News Service

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