UK teen's Summly app bought for 'millions', pulled from Store

Summly, the news app built by 17-year-old Brit Nick D'Aloisio, has been snapped up by Yahoo -- and promptly pulled from Apple's App Store.

Summly, the iPhone app that uses carefully crafted algorithms to mush lengthy online articles into just a few paragraphs, has been bought by Yahoo in a deal thought to be worth millions.

Having been snapped up, the service -- which was founded in 2011 by UK teenager Nick D'Aloisio -- will today be yanked from Apple's App Store, where it first gained popularity.

When D'Aloisio was just 15 he received an injection of investment cash from Horizon Ventures, which went toward building a Summly prototype. The app claims to take advantage of "machine learning and natural language processing" in its news-pulping processes.

Yahoo says the Summly team will "be joining Yahoo in the coming weeks". The BBC reports that the deal to acquire the app, which counts Stephen Fry, Yoko Ono and Ashton Kutcher among its investors, saw 'dozens of millions' of pounds headed Summly's way.

It's not clear exactly what Yahoo plans to do with the service, but my bet would be that it wants to squeeze the all-important algorithm into its own digital products.

An Android version of Summly was being built by Little Fluffy Toys, and according to reports was mere days away from making its debut. I'd guess that won't be happening now, but I've contacted Summly for confirmation and I'll let you know if I hear anything.

Did you use Summly? Are you sorry to see it vanish from the App Store, or are you keen to see what Yahoo does with it? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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