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Nick D'Aloisio

17 year old designs news ‘summerising’ app: gets millions in investments

Nick D’Aloisio has designed an app, Summly, that will summarise the news you want to hear in about three to four paragraphs, receiving millions in backing from all over, including celebrity investors like Stephen Fry and Ashton Kutcher. The app launches today and has been chosen by Apple as its “app of the week”. Nick still lives with his parents. The 17 year-old has been programming since he was 12, having taught himself.

Using complex algorithm, Summly will summarise news stories into three paragraphs and allow users to customise categories. If a user likes a specific article, they can swipe the ‘summery’ to get linked to the full article. “I designed Summly because I felt that my generation wasn’t consuming news in the traditional way any more,” said D’Aloisio.

Nick has manage to get backing from some of the biggest players in the tech world, and even managed to persuade Stephen Fry to make a promotional video. Summly, first conceived in 2010, attracted an investment of about US$300 000 from Li Ka-shing, the owner of Horizons Ventures. Since then “We’ve had over a million dollars in backing, from celebrities and serious tech people,” said Nick.

Spotify founder Daniel Ek, said that “Summly is an amazing piece of technology which easily summarises the world news into a bite-sized format. Perfect for people like myself who are constantly in a rush, but want to be in the know.”

Venture capitalist and “Queen of the Net” Mary Meeker, has also given her backing:

Nick and team have cleverly re-imagined how content will be consumed on mobile devices. With the Summly app, not only does the ‘who, what, when, where and how’ of content rise to the top, Summly has the potential to create an ecosystem for the best content to be distributed more broadly.

According to a report from earlier in 2012, D’Aloisio said: “There’s so much stuff on the web. Search engines are fine, but I wanted to make an intermediate layer between them and the final reading.”

And what does Summly think of Nick D’Aloisio? Here is a summary that the app made of him:

— D’aloisio, a pupil at King’s College School, London, started his app career at 12.

— “There’s so much stuff on the web,” says the 16-year-old.

— Keywords: Aloisio, Horizons Ventures, Summly, BBC, Oxford.

Name: Nick D’Aloisio
Occuptation: Creator, Summly
Location: London, UK
Need to know: His app sits between your search results and your click-throughs, to make browsing faster.

Image: Wired

Author | Stephan Lourens

Stephan Lourens
Born 20 years too early. Curses sometimes. Thinks too much. Believes plug-and-play is the best invention ever. If asked what he wants for his birthday he will say a gadget, then money. So he can go buy a gadget. More