17 year-old entrepreneur sells news summarising app to Yahoo!

Nick D’Aloisio secures estimated £19m from sale of Summly

News summarising app Summly, founded by 17 year-old schoolboy Nick D’Aloisio has been bought by internet giant Yahoo!, in a deal estimated at £19m.

Created by D’Aloisio at the age of 15 while researching his homework online, the app uses developed technology that mimics how a human thinks to summarise news articles into just 400 characters.

After securing backing from Hong Kong investor Li Ka-shing and his venture capital firm Horizon Ventures, as well as a number of high profile angel investors including Stephen Fry, Ashton Kutcher and Yoko Ono, the teenager’s app launched in November 2012 and soon became listed as one of Apple’s best apps of the year.

The app, which has had 90 million summaries read in the past four months, is to be removed from the App store today and D’Aloisio’s summarisation technology will soon appear in a number of Yahoo! products.

The 17 year-old founder, who is set to work with Yahoo! in the London office by day, while studying for his A-levels in the evenings, is “delighted” with the multi-million pound deal.

He said in a statement on the Summly website: “Our vision is to simplify how we get information and we are thrilled to continue this mission with Yahoo!’s global scale and expertise.

“After spending some time on campus, I discovered that Yahoo! has an inspirational goal to make people’s daily routines entertaining and meaningful, and mobile will be a central part of that vision. For us, it’s the perfect fit.

“When I founded Summly at 15, I would have never imagined being in this position so suddenly. I’d personally like to thank Li Ka-Shing and Horizons Ventures for having the foresight to back a teenager pursuing his dream.”

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