Twitter acquires Sphere, a chat app founded by British serial entrepreneur who sold his first startup to Yahoo when he was 17
Twitter continues its acquisition spree with the announcement that it had bought a chat app called Sphere, which was co-founded by British serial entrepreneur Nick D’Aloisio. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. But Sphere CEO D’Aloisio said, “everyone is happy.” As part of the acquisition agreement, about 20 Sphere employees will join Twitter.
In a blog post, Sphere wrote, “We’re excited to share some big news today — Sphere has been acquired by Twitter! We’ve joined to accelerate our mission of bringing people closer together through the community.”
Founded in 2016 by CEO Nick D’Aloisio and Tomas Halgas, the London-based Sphere is a community chat app that turns groups into close, vibrant, purposeful, and productive communities. Between 2017 and 2019, Sphere raised around $30 million from investors including Index Ventures, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky, Tinder co-founder Sean Rad and Sequoia venture capitalist Mike Moritz.
“The Sphere team’s expertise and leadership’s passion for finding ways to help people connect will help accelerate our Communities, DM, and Creators’ roadmaps,” said Twitter’s vice president of engineering, Nick Caldwell.
In 2013 when he was 17 years old, D’Aloisio sold his first startup, a mobile news app called Summly, to Yahoo for $30 million. He also spent two and a half years as a product manager at Yahoo before becoming an “entrepreneur in residence” at Airbnb, where he worked with Chesky.
While studying computer science and philosophy at the University of Oxford he met his co-founder, Tomas Halgas, and the two founded Sphere.
Meanwhile, Sphere is just one of the many startups Twitter has acquired over the years. Early this year, Twitter acquired newsletter startup Revue to attract users who want to make money from their followers. Twitter has also acquired several other U.K. start-ups including TweetDeck and artificial intelligence startups Magic Pony Technology, Fabula.ai, and Aiden.ai.