- Colin Kroll, the cofounder of HQ Trivia and Vine, has died at the age of 34.
- The Daily Beast said he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday night.
- The police found Kroll after his girlfriend was unable to make contact with him, TMZ reported.
Colin Kroll, the cofounder of HQ Trivia and Vine, has died at 34.
TMZ was first to report the death of the tech executive, while The Daily Beast and others confirmed the story with New York Police Department sources.
The Daily Beast said he was found unresponsive in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday night and was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.
Both TMZ and The Daily Beast said Kroll apparently died of a drug overdose, though that information was not publicly confirmed. The police found Kroll after his girlfriend was unable to make contact with him, TMZ added.
The NYPD did not initially name Kroll but told Business Insider:
“On Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 0018 hours, police responded to a 911 call for a wellness check at 56 Spring Street within the confines of the 5th Precinct.
“Upon arrival, officers discovered a 35-year-old male unconscious and unresponsive in a bedroom. EMS responded and pronounced the individual deceased on scene. The investigation is ongoing and the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.”
Later, the NYPD said Kroll’s age of death was 34.
HQ Trivia posted the following statement on Twitter:
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 (@hqtrivia) December 16, 2018
The live quiz app HQ Trivia launched in August 2017 with Kroll serving as chief technology officer. He was named CEO in September and was tasked with managing the day-to-day business, while his predecessor Rus Yusupov focused on designing new shows.
The once viral app closed a $US15 million funding round in March, including raising investment from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, but cracks have been showing in recent months. Participation in the app’s quizzes has dropped, and Recode reported in November that an employee filed a complaint over Kroll’s “aggressive management style.”
Kroll had previously apologised after Recode reported in February that he had exhibited “inappropriate behaviour toward women” while he worked at the Twitter-owned Vine. Kroll denied accusations of sexual misconduct but admitted he was fired from the now-defunct video app.
“I was let go from Vine four years ago for poor management,” he said. “It was a painful experience, but an eye-opening one that served as a catalyst for professional development and greater awareness in the office. I now realise that there are things I said and did that made some feel unappreciated or uncomfortable. I apologise to those people.”
Kroll cofounded HQ Trivia in 2015, three years after launching Vine with Dom Hofmann and Yusupov. He previously worked at Jetsetter and Yahoo.
Benjamin Goggin contributed reporting to this piece.
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