British teenager Nick D’Aloisio sold his smartphone news app, Summly, to Yahoo for a reported $30 million. Backers of the 17-year-old’s app include Yoko Ono and Rupert Murdoch. Summly launched for the iPhone about four months ago. In addition to the sale, D’Aloisio will join Yahoo as its youngest employee.
“If you have a good idea, or you think there’s a gap in the market, just go out and launch it, because there are investors across the world right now looking for companies to invest in,” he said on Monday.
The terms of the sale have not officially been disclosed, but technology blog AllThingsD said Yahoo paid roughly $30 million for the app, according to The Washington Post. D’Aloisio was the majority owner of Summly. He plans on investing the money from the sale despite having some limitations on accessing the funds because of his age. “I’m happy with that and working with my parents to go through that whole process,” he said.
D’Aloisio, who lives in the prosperous London suburb of Wimbledon, first thought of the mobile software while studying for a history exam two years ago. He went on to create a prototype of the app. Summly breaks down news stories into chunks of text readable on small smartphone screens.
The app works based off of an algorithm that automatically boils down articles to about 400 characters. A venture capital firm owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, Horizons Ventures, invested $250,000 in the app. That investment caught the eye of other backers like Ashton Kutcher; Ono and Murdoch.