Big news just in from Yahoo, folks. It has announced that it is to acquire Summly, the news summary service designed to help simplify the way we consume news on mobile devices.
Summly officially launched back in November following a lengthy pivoting and iteration period. Summly offers simple browsing and condensed summaries from news outlets to get the point across, and quickly allows you to digest what’s happening in the world. It was built originally back in 2011 by a then 15-year-old Londoner called Nick D’Aloisio.
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As part of the acquisition, Yahoo says it will be shuttering Summly, but given that D’Aloisio and Co. will be joining Yahoo in the coming weeks, key Summly features will be showing up on Yahoo’s mobile offerings. Though the exact nature of this remains to be seen.
“The ability to skim them on a phone or a tablet can be a real challenge — we want easier ways to identify what’s important to us,” explains Adam Cahan, Senior Vice President of Mobile and Emerging Products at Yahoo.
“Summly solves this by delivering snapshots of stories, giving you a simple and elegant way to find the news you want, faster than ever before,” he continues. “For publishers, the Summly technology provides a new approach to drive interest in stories and reach a generation of mobile users that want information on the go. Nick and the Summly team are joining Yahoo! in the coming weeks. While the Summly app will close, you will see the technology come to life throughout Yahoo!’s mobile experiences soon.”
The road to acquisition
Just to recap, way back in July 2011 we covered D’Aloisio’s iPhone app which was then called Trimit, which allowed users to take large chunks of text that they write or import through a link, and shrink it down to fit a social network update. The startup secured $250,000 in funding from Hong Kong Billionaire Li Ka Shing, pivoted and relaunched as Summly in December 2011.
The main difference between Trimit and Summly? “Trimit was about content creation”, said D’Aloisio at the time. “Whereas Summly solves the need for more concise and efficient content-consumption while browsing on a mobile device, as we allow users to instantaneously evaluate search results, webpages and articles with content summaries.”
You can check out our interview with D’Aloisio here.
This latest acquisition news falls less than a week since Yahoo acquired and shuttered personalized recommendation startup Jybe, which was started by five former Yahoo employees. So, it seems that Yahoo is really looking to ramp up its talent through acquisitions, and it will be interesting to see how Summly is reimagined under Yahoo’s stewardship.
In terms of numbers, Kara Swisher from AllThingsD cites “several sources” as saying Yahoo paid $30 million for Summly – 90% in cash and the rest in stock.
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