17 Year Old Sells Mobile Company ‘Summly’ To Yahoo for $30 Million, Why Yahoo Needs More Mobile

Nick D'Aloisio Summly

Yahoo missed out on a social media play but won’t miss mobile

Yahoo is trying to make sure it doesn’t miss out on the next wave in digital communications and content distribution.  Today, it was announce that Yahoo purchased a small startup called ‘Summly’ created by a 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio.  Summly started as an app for iPhone that could search for content online and summarize it for smaller mobile devices.  The story is akin a 1990s internet company flip and shows the growth in mobile has nowhere near abated.

D’Aloisio used uncanny methods to get the word out about his mobile app by contacting bloggers and techies.  He eventually linked up with Li Ka Shing a Hong Kong billionaire who helped him market the product and perfect it.  Summly is backed by the likes of Yoko Ono and Ashton Kucher and D’Aloisio sold the company to Yahoo for $30 million mostly in cash.

The purchase by Yahoo is one of Marissa Mayer’s first and signals the company is making serious plays into mobile so it isn’t left behind.  Yahoo needs to be proficient in the mobile space and Facebook has shown it isn’t very easy to monetize mobile, but it can be done.  Google brings in huge streams of revenue via mobile search and Yahoo may be trying to replicate this success by purchasing Summly although Yahoo is more of a content play than a search engine behemoth as it was in the past. Expect to hear more news about companies gobbling up mobile startups in attempts to expand their reach before the sector consolidates.  D’Aloisio is proof mobile is in high demand.

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