London tech whizzkid Nick D’Aloisio has sold his mobile app Summly to Yahoo for an undisclosed sum.
Media reports suggest the price of the app would be between £20m and £40m.
The 17-year-old from Wimbledon developed the app from his bedroom after he found clicking between different articles on Google “inefficient and time wasting”.
The free iPhone app that provides summaries of news stories has been downloaded almost a million times since it launched four months ago.
D’Aloisio’s windfall will go to a trustfund as he’s not old enough to be a director of a firm. However, he’ll remain the majority shareholder of the company.
The teenager will work at Yahoo’s office in Soho in the day and study for his A-levels in the evening.
In July 2011, D’Aloisio launched an early version of Summly, called Trimit, which was downloaded more than 200,000 times and was named Apple’s “app of the week”. The app caught the eye of Chinese billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s venture capital firm Horizon Ventures which invested £160,000 in the app. Other backers of the app include Stephen Fry, Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendy Murdoch, Yoko Ono and American actor Ashton Kutcher.
“I honestly never expected any of this to happen. I started doing it as a hobby and I didn’t realise it was possible to make money out of it,” D’Aloisio told the Standard.
“I like shoes, I will buy a new pair of Nike trainers and I’ll probably get a new computer but at the moment I just want to save and bank it. I don’t have many living expenses.”
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