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British teen sells mobile news app to Yahoo for $30 million

Nick D’Alosio, a 17 year old British teenager has just sold his popular news reading application to Yahoo for almost $30 million. He has became one of the world’s youngest self made millionaires.

D’Alosio started to write software at age 12 and then built the iPhone application Summly, which automatically makes a summary of news stories for small screens. He was only 15 years old at the time.

He received backing from Horizons Ventures, the venture capital arm of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing and actor Ashton Kutcher. Ironic that Ashton Kutcher plays a software developer in American comedy sitcom Two and A Half Men.

Summly was a free download and over 1 million people had downloaded it before it was pulled after the deal with Yahoo. It had deals with 250 online publishers, including News Corp.

D’Aloisio said “To me, Yahoo is the best company to be joining right now because it’s one of these classic Internet companies. With new leadership from Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has a strong focus on mobile and product, and that’s the perfect fit for Summly.”

Nick D'Aloisio. Started coding software at 12. It has paid off. (Photo: Nadine Rupp, Getty Images / January 23, 2012)

Mayer has a strong focus on mobile technology and is trying to boost Yahoo’s success in the sector. She has bought some excellent start up companies in recent times to bring the staff and software under the Yahoo umbrella.

D’Aloisio took a break from school for 6 months to focus full time on the program and will be joining Yahoo in their London offices while continuing his school work in the evenings. He says that Yahoo plan on integrating Summly into many mobile devices over the coming months.

He said “The real idea is to take the core of the technology and find different fits for it and make it as ubiquitous as possible on the Web. We want to take summarization and build beautiful content experiences around it.”

D’Aloisio has said all he wants is a new pair of Nike trainers and a computer. He was not driven by dollar signs on possible deals, adding “Technology has really been the driver behind this whole deal. I can’t wait to see how it plays out at Yahoo.”

He has found the media attention a little overwhelming and said “It’s been an absolutely awesome experience. I’d love to do it again someday with another company.”

Kitguru says: A guy with a strong future ahead of him.

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