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British teen gets millions out of Yahoo

Mobile app makes his fortune

A British teen who probably did not spend most of his life hanging around shopping centres wearing a hood and mumbling has just squeezed several million pounds out of Yahoo.

Nick d’Aloisio was studying for his exams when he hit upon a wizard wheeze to build an app which shorted content searches. This made it ideal for mobiles. He dubbed his mobile application Summly and it did so well that it attracted the interest of Yahoo.

D’Aloisio, who dreamed up the idea for the content-shortening program when he was studying for his exams, said he was surprised by the deal. Yahoo didn’t disclose how much it is paying for Summly, although British newspapers suggested the deal’s value at several million dollars.

Unlike other teens he does have a venture capitalist backer Li Ka-Shing but nevertheless he was surprised by his sudden success. The deal is Yahoo’s fifth small acquisition in the past five months. All of them have been part of CEO Marissa Mayer’s effort to attract more engineers with expertise in building services for smartphones and tablet computers, an increasingly important area of technology that she believes the Internet company had been neglecting.

Summly is no longer be available. Summly’s technology will return in other Yahoo products, he said. He will also get a job at Yahoo’s London office and will work while he finishes his high school exams. Two other Summly workers will join Yahoo at its Sunnyvale, California, headquarters.

It is worthwhile pointing out that D’Aloisio is younger than Yahoo, which was incorporated in March 1995.

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