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Colin Kroll, the cofounder of video looping app Vine and high-flying trivia game HQ Trivia, has died at the age of 34.
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 as 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 being founded. Kroll remained with Twitter as Vine’s general manager but was fired 18 months after the acquisition, reportedly for poor job performance, 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 it was released in the summer of 2017. By January, the game had become one of the 10 most downloaded free iPhone games. HQ Trivia hosts live action trivia games where users can win cash prizes everyday. The company also added a sports-themed trivia game this summer, seeking to diversify its offerings after interest in the flagship HQ Trivia game began to cool.
HQ Trivia and Yusupov sent out statements about Kroll’s passing 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
So sad to hear about the passing of my friend and co-founder Colin Kroll. My thoughts & prayers go out to his loved ones. I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart. He made the world and internet a better place. Rest in peace, brother.
— Rus (@rus) December 16, 2018
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.”
Correction, 11:23 a.m Pacific: This story originally said that Kroll died at the age of 35. An NYPD spokesperson said that they have Kroll’s age listed as 34 at time of death.
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