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HQ Trivia co-founder and CEO Colin Kroll has died

Kroll, 34, died of an alleged drug overdose, according to TMZ.

HQ Trivia CEO Colin Kroll
HQ Trivia CEO Colin Kroll
Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for Variety

Colin Kroll, the co-founder and CEO of HQ Trivia, the gameshow app, died after an alleged drug overdose, according to TMZ.

Police discovered Kroll in his apartment in New York City early Sunday morning.

Kroll, 34, had recently been named the CEO of HQ Trivia, a company he co-founded alongside Rus Yusupov that runs a daily live trivia show with cash prizes. The duo also created the once-popular video app Vine, which Twitter acquired in 2012.

Update: A spokesperson for HQ confirmed Kroll’s death and shared the following statement with Recode:

We learned today of the passing of our friend and founder, Colin Kroll, and it’s with deep sadness that we say goodbye. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.

HQ Trivia was a quick hit, and Kroll was promoted to CEO in August after a contentious board debate about HQ’s future. The hope was that Kroll, the more technical of the company’s two co-founders, would be able to launch more trivia games more quickly as a way to combat HQ Trivia’s declining audience.

“Colin was extremely talented, a warm and caring person and I will miss him,” said Cyan Banister, an HQ investor from Founders Fund, who is a board observer at the company. “It’s too painful and too soon to discuss anything else, but my thoughts are with his family and the rest of the team.”

Kroll faced criticism throughout his career. At Vine, Kroll was fired for poor management and had made some female colleagues uncomfortable with some of his behavior, Recode reported earlier this year. At HQ Trivia, his promotion to CEO came shortly after an employee filed a formal complaint against him to HR about his aggressive management style; the board investigated the complaint and found it “yielded no concerns.”

Still, Kroll was known as a strong engineer and did something that few entrepreneurs are able to do: He created two industry-wide hits in Vine and HQ Trivia. Vine was key in helping spur a whole new generation of internet celebrities and creators. Some hold out hope that HQ Trivia’s mobile, interactive game shows might be the future of television.

This article originally appeared on

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