British Teenage Designer of Summly App Hits Jackpot

Most teenagers will find any reason under the sun not to do their homework.

But 16-year-old South Londoner Nick D’Aloisio’s excuse is better than most – he has been busy developing an app which has made international headlines and attracted a big investment from a Hong Kong-based billionaire.

Summly is an iPhone app which summarises and simplifies the content of web pages and search results. Currently it can condense reference pages, news articles and reviews but has the potential to go a lot further.

Mr D’Aloisio – the son of a lawyer and an investment banker – had the brainwave for it while studying.

“I was revising for a history exam and using Google, clicking in and out of search results, and it seemed quite inefficient. If I found myself on a site that was interesting I was reading it and that was wasting time,” he said.

“I thought that what I needed was a way of simplifying and summarising these web searches. Google has Instant Preview but that is just an image of the page. What I wanted was a content preview,” he says.

App generation

The first iteration of the app, called TrimIt, clocked up 100,000 downloads and caught the eye of Horizons Ventures.

The private equity investment firm is controlled by Li Ka-Shing, the Chinese billionaire who ranks as the eleventh wealthiest person in the world according to the Forbes rich list. His previous investments include Skype, Facebook and Spotify.

His firm sank $250,000 (£159,000) into the project.

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