Tech Prodigy Sells Company to Twitter
He sold his previous app to Yahoo for £20m when he was only a teenager, now Nick D'Aloisio has sold his second venture to Twitter.
The man you see in this picture was only 12 years old when he began coding for apps on Apple's App Store. He became the youngest person ever to receive venture capital funding by the time he was 15, dropped out of college by the time he was 17 after selling his first company to Yahoo for £21 million, and became a millionaire.
Now, 8 years later, aged 25, Nick D'Aloisio sold his second company, Sphere, to Twitter. This start-up was run by a group of 20 people, and was developing a group chat app.
In the 8 years between the selling of both companies, D'Aloisio went back and completed his education, unlike many of his peers. He has so far authored seven academic papers and is now completing a PhD.
Sphere started out as a question and answer app, which allowed users to chat with paid experts. By the end of 2018, around half a million people were using the platform.
"What was interesting was that people were talking so often throughout the day, and it wasn't just talking to their friend on Facebook, but someone they had not met before about something they were interested in," he said in an interview.
That is when the app began to pivot toward a focus on group chat.
"All groups have the potential to become genuine communities," said D'Aloisio, "But most groups suffer from problems in online communication that prevent community-building - things like awkward silences, conversations going off-topic, and vitriol." He added that "we learned over the past two years that a group can transform into a community if its members feel their participation is welcomed."
Sphere's 20-strong staff will join Twitter to integrate the app's community features into the latter.