March 27, 2013
When I?m 18, I?ll buy champagne
BIG companies swallow little ones every day. So the purchase on March 25th by Yahoo (annual revenue, $5 billion) of Summly, a British start-up (annual revenue, nil), for a reported $30m would normally merit merely a shrug of the shoulders and some muttering about the curious economics of the internet.The deal is worth noting, though, for two reasons. One is that Summly?s founder, Nick d?Aloisio, is only 17: this summer he will be sitting his exams like other teenagers. He created an iPhone app to summarise articles in 300-400 words, ideal for the smartphone-user wondering what he should bother reading.Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong telecoms tycoon, invested money in the venture, having got wind of an early version of the app after tech blogs wrote about it, Mr d?Aloisio says. Actors (Ashton Kutcher, Stephen Fry), artists (Yoko Ono) and entrepreneurs (Mark Pincus, co-founder and boss of Zynga, a maker of games) have also chipped in, taking the sum outsiders invested in Summly to $1.5m. Mr d?Aloisio says that he remained the largest shareholder.The second reason is that Summly is just the latest of half a dozen...
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