Yahoo buys teenager's mobile app company

Yahoo acquires Summly as part of its new mobile strategy under Marissa Mayer

Nick D'Aloisio, the 17-year-old founder of Summly, is having a good week.

Yahoo announced Monday that it is buying Summly, a London-based company that developed an app that condenses information and makes it easily and quickly readable on mobile devices. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but it has to be a windfall for D'Aloisio, who is still in high school.

"Our vision is to simplify how we get information, and we are thrilled to continue this mission with Yahoo's global scale and expertise," wrote D'Aloisio on Summly's site. "After spending some time on campus, I discovered that Yahoo has an inspirational goal to make people's daily routines entertaining and meaningful, and mobile will be a central part of that vision. For us, it's the perfect fit."

Yahoo reported that it's not just buying the company. D'Aloisio is joining Yahoo as part of the deal.

Yahoo is shutting down the Summly app, but said the technology will reappear "soon" as part of Yahoo's mobile push.

"Mobile devices are at the center of how we engage with the people, experiences and interests we love," wrote Adam Cahan, a senior vice president of mobile and emerging products at Yahoo, in a blog post (http://ycorpblog.com/2013/03/25/yahoo-to-acquire-summly/ ) . "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."

D'Aloisio launched Summly in December 2011, tapping into the growing worldwide interest in mobile devices and the apps that work with them. Despite his young age, he received venture capital funding from Horizons Ventures and also received investment and advice from actor Ashton Kutcher and artist Yoko Ono.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's new CEO, has said that taking advantage of the burgeoning mobile market is part of her plan to rebuild the company.

In January, Mayer said mobile products are "incredibly important to our strategy."

To that end, Yahoo also recently acquired the mobile recommendations app Stamped and the video chat broadcasting app OnTheAir.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

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