Nick D'Aloisio

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Nicholas D'Aloisio (born 1 November 1995) is a British computer programmer and internet entrepreneur. He is the founder of Summly, a mobile app which automatically summarises news articles and other material, which was acquired by Yahoo for $30M, according to, but the price wasn't officially disclosed.[1] D'Aloisio is the youngest person to receive a round of venture capital in technology, at the age of 16.[2][3] D'Aloisio was more recently the founder of a startup called Sphere that was acquired by Twitter in October 2021 for an undisclosed sum, and received $30M of venture capital investment from Index Ventures and Mike Moritz.[4][5][6] He is also a student at Oxford University, where he graduated from the BPhil in Philosophy in July 2021 and now is undertaking the PhD (DPhil) course.[7] D'Aloisio has had seven papers accepted for publication or revision & resubmission in peer-reviewed journals.[7]

Nick D'Aloisio
D'Aloisio in 2021
D'Aloisio at his Sphere offices, 2021.
Nicholas D'Aloisio-Montilla

(1995-11-01) 1 November 1995 (age 27)
EducationKing's College School, University of Oxford
Occupation(s)Computer programmer, Internet entrepreneur, philosopher, student (Hertford College, University of Oxford)
Known forSummly

Early life and education[edit]

D'Aloisio was born in Melbourne, Australia. Having spent some years there, D’Aloisio left Australia for the United Kingdom at the age of 7 with his lawyer mother and banker father.[8] When he was seven, they returned to London. D'Aloisio was educated at King's College School, an independent school for boys in Wimbledon, south west London.[9] In the summer of 2014, he took A-level examinations at King's College School, Wimbledon. From 2014, D'Aloisio studied his undergraduate degree in philosophy and computer science at Hertford College, Oxford University.[10] In 2019, he commenced the BPhil graduate programme in Philosophy at Oxford University, and then advanced onto the DPhil (PhD) course in 2021.[7]

Since 2017, D'Aloisio has published a number of academic papers in peer-reviewed journals.[11] One of them, titled "Imagery and Overflow: We See More Than We Report", was published in Philosophical Psychology[11][12] He presented a second paper at the Centre for Philosophical Psychology, University of Antwerp.[13] A third paper was published in the philosophy journal Ratio, and three more papers were accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journals Philosophia, Disputatio and Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.[14][15]



In March 2011, D'Aloisio launched an iOS app named Trimit, which used an algorithm to condense text such as emails and blog posts into a summary of 1000, 500, or 140-character text.[16] With 100,000 downloads,[17] the app was featured as on the Apple App Store.[18] Shortly afterwards, Trimit attracted the attention of business magnate Li Ka-Shing, who provided 16-year-old D'Aloisio with US$300,000 in venture capital investment.[19][20] After gathering feedback, D'Aloisio re-designed the app and renamed it Summly in December 2011.[21]

Summly aimed to solve perceived problems with the way news articles are presented on smartphones,[19] with the initial version of Summly being downloaded by over 200,000 users.[22] He hired a team from Israel, including a scientist named Inderjeet Mani, who specialised in natural language processing, to improve the app.[23][24] With corporate support,[25] in November 2012, D'Aloisio received US$1 million in new venture funding from celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Ashton Kutcher and Stephen Fry, in addition to Li Ka-Shing.[26] In March 2013, D'Aloiso sold Summly to Yahoo! for approximately US$30 million, according to, but price wasn't officially disclosed.[1][27] He joined Yahoo! as a product manager the same month.[28]

Yahoo News Digest[edit]

In January 2014, D'Aloisio announced the launch of Yahoo News Digest at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.[29] An evolution of Summly, Yahoo News Digest provides mobile users with a summary of important news of the day in the form of a twice-a-day digest.[30] The articles are automatically and manually curated, as well as summarised into key units of information, known as "Atoms", which include maps, infographics, quotes and Wikipedia extracts.[31] The Verge praised the app, stating, "Yahoo! News Digest is the boldest and most visually impressive app the company has released since Yahoo! Weather last year."[32] It was the winner of the 2014 Apple Design Award.[33] D'Aloisio resigned from Yahoo! in October 2015.


In late 2015, D'Aloisio co-founded a new startup called Sphere Knowledge. Whilst yet to be made public, Sphere is said to be knowledge-sharing service where users can swap information via instant messaging.[6] As of March 2019, the Financial Times reports that the company has raised US$30 million.[6] In October 2021, multiple news outlets including TechCrunch, The Telegraph, The Times and BBC reported that Sphere had been acquired by Twitter, and that the majority of the 30-person team would be joining the company.[4][5][34][35]

Awards and recognition[edit]

D'Aloisio garnered media attention for being a young entrepreneur. He has been covered by major publications, including ReadWrite,[36] Business Insider,[37] Wired,[38] Forbes,[39][40] The Huffington Post[19] and TechCrunch.[41] D'Aloisio has also made numerous television appearances.[42]

In 2013, The Wall Street Journal awarded D'Aloisio "Innovator of the Year" in New York City for his work on Summly and at Yahoo.[43] He was included in Time magazine's Time 100 as one of the world's most influential teenagers.[44] He also appeared in the 30 Under 30, an annual list of top entrepreneurs by Forbes, and appeared in GQ magazine's 100 Most Connected Men of 2014.[45] D'Aloisio was placed No. 30 on the 2014 Silicon Valley 100 by Business Insider.[46] He won a Spirit of London Award in December 2012 as Entrepreneur of the Year.[47] In addition, he was placed No. 1 in London's Evening Standard Top 25 under 25 for 2013.[20] D'Aloisio also received 2013's Entrepreneur of the Year by Spear's Wealth Management, as well as a Merton Business Award.[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Yahoo Paid 30 Million in Cash For 18 Months of Young Summly Entrepreneur's Time".
  2. ^ Rainey, Sarah (26 March 2013). "Nick D'Aloisio: 'It was a massive gamble but a good one'". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  3. ^ Lomas, Natasha (3 August 2010). "True Ventures Invests in 19 Year Old Entrepreneur Brian Wong". TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  4. ^ a b "British entrepreneur sells company to Twitter". BBC News. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Twitter acquires group chat app Sphere". 21 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Bradshaw, Tim (15 March 2019). "Tech prodigy Nick D'Aloisio stumbles with secretive Q&A app". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2019. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b c "Nick D'Aloisio | University of Oxford -". Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  8. ^ Grubb, Ben (26 March 2013). "Teen's multimillion-dollar Yahoo payday before 18th birthday". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  9. ^ Frean, Alexandra (6 October 2017). "Summly founder Nick D'Aloisio raises £12m for new app". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  10. ^ Clark, Liat (23 September 2014). "Exclusive: Nick D'Aloisio to combine Oxford studies with Yahoo role (Wired UK)". Wired UK. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Nick D'Aloisio, Academic Profile".
  12. ^ d'Aloisio-Montilla, Nicholas (2017). "Imagery and overflow: We see more than we report". Philosophical Psychology. 30 (5): 545–570. doi:10.1080/09515089.2017.1298086. S2CID 151734484.
  13. ^ d&#39, Nick. "Two Seeming Successes of Introspection Workshop". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ d&#39, Nick (2017). "A Brief Argument For Consciousness Without Access". Ratio. 31 (2): 119.
  15. ^ d'Aloisio-Montilla, Nicholas (2018). "A Brief Argument For Consciousness Without Access". Ratio. 31 (2): 119–136. doi:10.1111/rati.12183.
  16. ^ Lomas, Natasha (15 July 2011). "Trimit Summarizes Emails, Blog Posts, And More with a Shake of Your iPhone". TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  17. ^ Wakefield, Jane (28 December 2011). "Teenage app prodigy hits jackpot". Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  18. ^ "trimit for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch on the iTunes App Store". 12 August 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  19. ^ a b c Grandoni, Dino (2 November 2012). "17-Year-Old Summly Founder Nick D'Aloisio's Immodest Goal: Change The Way You Read News". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  20. ^ a b "London's top 25 under-25s: they're young and successful – deal with it". Evening Standard. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  21. ^ Heesun Wee (16 November 2012). "Meet the 17-Year-Old Who Is Reinventing News". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  22. ^ "Teenager receives $1 million for creating app". 5 November 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  23. ^ Stevenson, Seth (11 November 2013). "How Teen Nick D'Aloisio Has Changed the Way We Read". The Wall Street Journal.
  24. ^ "What Does $30 Million Buy You?". The Wall Street Journal. 26 March 2013.
  25. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (8 November 2012). "The savvy network behind Summly". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  26. ^ Lomas, Natasha (1 November 2012). "Backed With $1M in Fresh Funding, Summly's 17-Year-Old Founder Shows Off His App's New Look [TCTV". TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  27. ^ "Yahoo acquires mobile news start-up Summly". 26 March 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  28. ^ Luckerson, Victor. "Q&A With the 17-Year-Old Who Sold an App to Yahoo for $30 Million". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  29. ^ McCracken, Harry (8 January 2014). "Yahoo's News Digest App: The Least Overwhelming News Source Ever |". Time. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Yahoo News Digest: Get in the Know in No Time | Yahoo". 7 January 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  31. ^ "Science Powering Product: Yahoo News Digest | Yahoo Labs". 30 June 2014. Archived from the original on 30 October 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  32. ^ Newton, Casey (7 January 2014). "Yahoo's sleek News Digest app swims against the stream". The Verge. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  33. ^ "Yahoo Wins Another Apple Design Award For News Digest". TechCrunch. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  34. ^ Odell, Michael (21 October 2021). "Nick d'Aloisio, the British tech whizz kid who's sold two apps to Silicon Valley". Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  35. ^ . 21 October 2021 Retrieved 21 October 2021. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "Summly: New App Helps You Read All Your Bookmarked Links in Minutes – ReadWrite". Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  37. ^ Boonsri Dickinson (19 December 2011). "This 16-Year-Old Genius Scored Funding From A Hong Kong Billionaire for an iPhone App – Business Insider". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  38. ^ Bonnington, Christina (13 December 2011). "Teen's iOS App Uses Complex Algorithms to Summarize the Web | Gadget Lab". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  39. ^ Olson, Parmy (13 December 2011). "Teenage Programmer Backed By Hong Kong Billionaire Li Ka Shing". Forbes. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  40. ^ Carr, Coeli (15 September 2011). "10 Tips From A 15-Year-Old App Developer on the VC Fast Track: How Parents Can Nurture Their Teenage Tech Prodigies". Forbes. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  41. ^ Lomas, Natasha (13 December 2011). "16-Year-Old Programmer Raises Seed Round From Billionaire Li Ka Shing To 'Summarize The Web'". TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  42. ^ Summly creator Nick D'Aloisio: 'I try to maintain a level of humbleness' The Guardian, 29 March 2013, retrieved 29 March 2013
  43. ^ Stevenson, Seth (11 November 2013). "How Teen Nick D'Aloisio Has Changed the Way We Read". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  44. ^ "Nick D'Aloisio, 18 | The 16 Most Influential Teens of 2013 |". Time. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  45. ^ GQ (8 December 2014). "GQ and ei's 100 Most Connected Men 2014". British GQ. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  46. ^ D'Onfro, Megan Rose Dickey, Jillian. "THE SILICON VALLEY 100: The Coolest People in Tech Right Now". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  47. ^ Burke, Elaine (26 March 2013). "Meet Nick D'Aloisio, the 17-year-old entrepreneur Yahoo! just made a millionaire – Companies | – Ireland's Technology News Service". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  48. ^ "Winners Announced of Spear's Wealth Management Awards 2013 – Spears". Retrieved 16 October 2015.

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