Back in March, Yahoo bought a startup called Summly for $30 million.
Before Yahoo shut it down, Summly was a news aggregation app for smartphones.
The deal got a lot of attention because Summly’s CEO is 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio.
We found the deal strange from the get-go.
Three big reasons:
- D’Aloisio is still going to high school in London, thousands of miles away from Yahoo’s California headquarters. He is not moving.
- Summly didn’t have a lot of users or any revenues.
- According to Summly’s own Web site, the technology behind the app was “built” by an organization called “SRI International,” not by the startup’s employees.
Then, today we learned that the Summly team also did not build the Summly app — a company called Somo did. Somo is “the U.K.’s largest independent mobile marketing agency.”
In conclusion: Buying Summly, Yahoo bought a startup with an app that …
… not many people used
… made no money
… employed no technical geniuses or design mavens.
So why, exactly, did Yahoo buy Summly?
We finally have an answer!
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