HQ Trivia and Vine cofounder Colin Kroll dead at 35
An official with the NYPD’s public information office confirmed that a female 911 caller asked for a welfare check, and Kroll was pronounced dead at 12:18 a.m. Eastern. Kroll’s death is being investigated a possible narcotics overdose.
Kroll, along with Rus Yusupov and Dom Hofmann, founded Vine in 2012. Vine was bought by Twitter just four months after the company was founded. Kroll remained with Twitter as Vine’s general manager, but was fired 18 months after the acquisition, reportedly for being a bad manager, according to Recode.
Kroll and Yusupov then went on to found HQ Trivia. Kroll took over from Yusupov as CEO in September. In March, HQ Trivia raised $15 million at a reported $100 million valuation. Investors in HQ Trivia include Lightspeed Venture Partners and Founders Fund.
The live trivia game quickly took off after being first released in the summer of 2017. The game became one of the 10 most downloaded free iPhone games by January. HQ Trivia hosts live action trivia games every day, where users can win cash prizes. The company also added a sports-themed trivia game this summer, seeking to diversify its offerings as interest in the flagship HQ Trivia game has cooled since earlier this year.
In an email to VentureBeat, Founders Fund’s Cyan Banister said that “Colin was incredibly creative and brilliant. His contributions to this world will never be forgotten by his family, friends, peers and fans who interacted with the products he had his hand in building. He will be deeply missed by myself, the rest of the team, his friends and his family. We will need our space to mourn and respectfully ask for the time to process this sudden loss.”
VentureBeat has reached out to HQ Trivia for comment, and will update this story if we hear back.
This story is developing and will continue to be updated.