HQ Trivia, the live game show app that became a worldwide sensation a few years ago, is shutting down

HQ Trivia Hosts Season 4

  • Embattled live-gameshow app HQ Trivia is reportedly shutting
    down its operations after a deal to acquire the company fell
    through. 
  • “Effective today, HQ will cease operations and move to
    dissolution. All employees and contractors will be terminated as of
    today,” HQ Trivia’s CEO and co-founder Rus Yusupov announced in a
    company-wide email obtained by Kerry Flynn of
    CNN Business
  • The app’s extreme popularity in 2017 attracted over 15 million
    user installs, and highlighted its potential to re-imagine live
    shows for the digital age. 
  • But HQ Trivia
    struggled
    to recover from the loss of its cofounder and CEO
    Colin Kroll, who
    died
    unexpectedly in December 2018.
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    Insider’s homepage for more stories
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HQ Trivia, a ground-breaking live gameshow for smartphones that
went viral three years ago, is declaring game over and will shut
down after struggling to obtain funding or a buyer,
CNN Business reported
on Friday.

Rus Yusupov, the CEO of HQ Trivia, sent an email to the
company’s 25 employees announcing the news, according the report.
All employees would be laid off as a part of the process, the email
said.

“Unfortunately, our lead investors are no longer willing to fund
the company and so, effective today, HQ will cease operations and
move to dissolution,” Yusupov wrote in the email.

HQ Trivia had been in acquisition discussions with an
unspecified buyer, but Yusupov said in the email that the deal fell
through. Intermedia Labs, the company behind the app, did not
respond immediately to a request for comment.

The news of HQ Trivia’s demise is a harsh ending for an app that
launched to great acclaim, but soon found itself struggling to keep
users coming back and to recover from the tragedy of the
death of cofounder Colin Kroll. 

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HQ Trivia was once seen as the live-gameshow for the digital
age, attracting millions to play the show’s 15-minute segments. It
was founded by two of Vine’s co-founders, Colin Kroll and Rus
Yusupov, attracted millions in funding from investors like Peter
Thiel’s Founder’s Fund, and managed about 15 million all-time
installs, according to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower. 

But the death
of its co-founder and former CEO Kroll
in December 2018 plunged
the company into
months of internal turmoil
. Employees did not take to the
leadership of its new CEO, and over half signed a letter asking for
the company board to get rid of Yusupov. Scott Rogowsky, the
beloved host of the trivia show, left the company in April.

HQ Trivia’s installs plunged amid the turmoil, from an all-time
high of 2 million in February 2018 to just 67,000 by January
2020. 


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HQ Trivia, the live game show app that became a worldwide sensation a few years ago, is shutting down