App makes British teen an instant multi-millionaire

By Ian Burrell

Nick D'Aloisio will now work at Yahoo while he studies for his A-Levels. Photo / Supplied
Nick D'Aloisio will now work at Yahoo while he studies for his A-Levels. Photo / Supplied

An app created by a British teenager has been snapped up by internet giant Yahoo in a deal thought to be worth "dozens of millions" of pounds.

Yahoo purchased the Summly app, which summarises news stories from popular media companies, from its 17-year-old creator, Nick D'Aloisio.

The price of buying the app has not been disclosed, but industry experts have suggested it could be between £20 million and £40 million ($36.4 million and $72.8 million).

Speaking to the Evening Standard newspaper yesterday, D'Aloisio said he would probably buy a new computer and trainers with some of the money from the sale, "I just want to save and bank it. I don't have many living expenses," he added.

Summly's features will now be incorporated into mobile products at Yahoo, where D'Aloisio will now work, as well as studying for his A-Levels. The app reached No 9 in the free iPhone app chart last November and offers mobile users a quick and easy way of finding news stories on the internet.

D'Aloisio, who is described as a British-Australian entrepreneur, said he was "delighted" about the deal.

In a message on the Summly website, he wrote: "I am delighted to announce Summly has signed an agreement to be acquired by Yahoo.

"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."

The Summly app will now be closed from the Apple store and its features integrated into Yahoo's mobile initiatives.

Yahoo has acquired several small mobile and web start-up companies since former Google executive Marissa Mayer became chief executive last year.

The Summly buy comes just two weeks after Google said it plans to retire its RSS reader application Google Reader on July 1.

The purchase has been seen by some as a bid to fill the gap left by Google Reader.

Summing up

17: Age of Nick D'Aloisio
15:His age when he founded the Summly app
$36.4-$72.8m: What Yahoo is believed to have paid for the app
9: The app's place on the free iPhone app chart last November

What it does
Automatically reduces lengthy online news stories and features into summaries

What he will do with his money
Buy a new computer and trainers, so he says

-Independent

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