Vine and HQ Trivia co-founder Colin Kroll dead at 34

Key Points
  • Vine and HQ Trivia co-founder Colin Kroll has died at the age of 34.
  • The NYPD said they found a male unresponsive in his Lower Manhattan apartment.
  • Cocaine and heroin were also found on the premises, according to reports.
Vine, HQ Trivia co-creator Colin Kroll found dead

Colin Kroll, the co-founder of Vine and the wildly popular game app HQ Trivia, has died of a suspected drug overdose in New York City.

A representative for the New York City Police Department told CNBC that they had found a 35-year-old male unresponsive in the bedroom of his Lower Manhattan apartment.

The NYPD declined to name the deceased pending family notification, but an HQ Trivia spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that Kroll died. The company also clarified that he was 34.

"We learned today of the passing of our friend and founder, Colin Kroll, and it's with deep sadness that we say goodbye," HQ Trivia said in a statement provided to CNBC. "Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time."

According to published reports, Kroll's girlfriend hadn't heard from him, and contacted authorities in order to perform a welfare check. Cocaine and heroin were also found on the premises, those reports said.

Alan, Kroll's father, told The New York Times that he was aware his son took drugs recreationally, but that he recently stopped drinking and did not have a drug problem.

"He had so much talent and had accomplished so much at such a young age," he told the Times. "It truly is a waste. At 34, imagine the things he'd done and the skills he had. It would have been really fun to watch him at 50."

Created by Kroll and Rus Yusupov, HQ Trivia is a live trivia game that streams at 9 p.m. every day, and 3 p.m. on weekdays. Each show features 12 questions players must answer correctly within 10 seconds to win a cash prize.

HQ Trivia was considered a viral hit when it launched last year, however recent reports suggest internal turmoil as the game's popularity ebbed. Last month, the website Recode reported that an HQ employee filed a formal complaint against Kroll for his aggressive management style.

Kroll's other venture, Vine, was bought by Twitter in October 2012 for a reported $30 million. The app, which let users share six-second clips that could be viewed on a loop, proved to be wildly popular. It was once the most-downloaded free app on Apple's App Store.

The social network was shuttered in January 2017, however, by its owner. The service kickstarted the careers of so-called social media "influencers," including YouTube stars Logan and Jake Paul and pop artist Shawn Mendes.

Yusupov, who also co-founded Vine alongside Kroll and Dom Hoffman, paid tribute to Kroll on Twitter.


"I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart," he said. "He made the world and internet a better place."