The Slatest

Colin Kroll, Co-Founder of HQ Trivia and Vine, Found Dead of Apparent Drug Overdose

Honorees Rus Yusupov (L) and Colin Kroll (R) accept the Breakthrough Award for Emerging Technology from rapper Lil Jon (C) onstage at the Variety Breakthrough of the Year Awards during the 2014 International CES at The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on January 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Colin Kroll, right, accepts the Breakthrough Award for Emerging Technology from rapper Lil Jon, center, at the Variety Breakthrough of the Year Awards in 2014 in Las Vegas. Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Colin Kroll, who co-founded Vine and was the CEO and co-founder of the popular mobile gaming app HQ Trivia, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment early Sunday. Police found the 34-year-old’s body when they went to his home to conduct a wellness check following a call from his girlfriend. Kroll’s body was discovered face-down in his bedroom, where there reportedly was drug paraphernalia nearby, according to TMZ. A police source tells TMZ that law enforcement believe the drugs involved were cocaine and heroin.

“He had so much talent and had accomplished so much at such a young age. 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,” his father, Alan Kroll, told the New York Times. “He worked too many hours and too hard,” he said. “I think New York City got to him a little bit.”

Kroll first made a name of himself by co-founding Vine, the once-popular app that allowed user to make six-second videos. Twitter bought Vine for $30 million in 2012 but closed it down last year. Kroll went to work for Twitter but was later fired for being a bad manager, according to Recode. Investors who considered putting money into HQ were also reportedly concerned by his reputation for exhibiting inappropriate behavior toward women in the workplace.
When HQ Trivia made its debut in August 2017 it was an immediate viral hit and was valued at $100 million a few months later. But the app has been struggling to hold on to its audience lately. Kroll was named CEO of HQ Trivia in September.

HQ Trivia and Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov tweeted Sunday about Kroll’s death: