HQ Trivia, a game startup founded by original creators of Vine, abruptly shuts down after burning through $15M of investors’ cash
HQ Trivia, the live trivia gameshow app created by two of Vine’s cofounders, is shutting down less than three years after launching. According the news, which was first reported by CNN, the startup abruptly shuts down after 14 ‘seasons’.
The announcement came Friday after a planned acquisition fell through, HQ Trivia CEO Rus Yusupov told employees. All 25 full time employees working at the parent company HQ were told the app was closing and they were all being laid off. Before the shutdown, HQTrivia had raised a total of $15 million in funding from various investors.
‘We received an offer from an established business to acquire HQ and continue building our vision, had definitive agreements and legal docs, and a projected closing date of tomorrow, and for reasons we are still investigating, they suddenly changed their position and despite our best efforts, we were unable to reach an agreement.’ CEO Rus Yusupov said in a memo to staff.
“With HQ we showed the world the future of TV,” Yusupov said in a tweet. “We didn’t get to where we hoped but we did stretch the world’s imagination for what’s possible on our smartphones. Thanks to everyone who helped build this and thanks for playing.”
With HQ we showed the world the future of TV. We didn’t get to where we hoped but we did stretch the world’s imagination for what’s possible on our smartphones. Thanks to everyone who helped build this and thanks for playing.
— Rus (@rus) February 14, 2020
Founded in 2017 by Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov, HQ Trivia is a live trivia game played through an iOS app. The app became a viral hit soon after it launched in 2017. Coming on the heels of popular live streaming services, like Periscope and Meerkat, the app created a new genre of mobile game, which allowed hundreds of thousands of viewers to compete against each other in once-daily live tournament.
Users can tune in twice a day at 3PM and 9PM ET to answer questions for the chance to win cash prizes — prizes that have ballooned from a couple of hundred dollars, to thousands.