HQ Trivia shuts down after acquisition falls through

HQ Trivia is dead. Today the company laid off its full staff of 25 and will cease operation of its trivia, sports, and word guessing games, a source close to the company confirmed.

HQ Trivia had a deal in the works to be acquired, but they buyer pulled out yesterday and investors aren’t willing to fund it any longer, CEO and co-founder Rus Yusupov said in a statement attained by CNN Business’ Kerry Flynn.

“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” Yusupov writes. “Unfortunately, our lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company, and so effective today, HQ will cease operations and move to dissolution. All employees and contractors will be terminated as of today.”

Launched in October 2017, TechCrunch wrote the first coverage of the 12 question live video trivia game started by two of the former Vine founders. Users could win real money by answering all the questions and not being eliminated in multiple daily games. HQ Trivia had raised over $15 million, including a Series A led by Founders Fund. At one point it had over 2.3 million concurrent players.

hq trivia app 1

But eventually the novelty began to wear off. Cheaters came in, splitting the prize money down to just a few dollars or cents per winner. Copycats emerged internationally. Engineering issues led users to get kicked out of the game.

Then tragedy struck. Co-founder Colin Kroll passed away. That exacerbated internal problems at HQ Trivia. Product development was slow, leading users to grow tired of the game. New game types and viral features materialized too late.

A failed internal mutiny saw staffers prepare to petition the board to remove Yusupov from the CEO position. When he caught wind of the plot, organizers of the revolt were fired. Morale sunk. By July 2019, downloads were just 8% of their previous year’s, and 20% of the staff was laid off. HQ managed about 15 million all-time installs, peaking at 2 million in February 2018, while last month it had just 67,000 according to Sensor Tower.

The demise of HQ Trivia demonstrates the fickle nature of the gaming and the startup scene as a whole. Momentary traction is no guarantee of future success. Products must continually evolve and adapt to their audience to stay relevant. And executives must forge ahead while communicating clearly with their teams, even amongst uncertainty, or find their companies withered by the rapid passing of time.

https://techcrunch.com/?p=1946806

Source: TechCrunch

By:

Animated, interactive digital books may help kids learn better
Animated, interactive digital books may help kids ...
The Sony WH1000XM3 noise canceling headphones get a $70 price cut at Walmart
The Sony WH1000XM3 noise canceling headphones get ...
Google Assistant is getting a bunch of new features in 2020
Google Assistant is getting a bunch of new feature ...
Eyes-on with VIZIO’s 2020 TV lineup at CES
Eyes-on with VIZIOs 2020 TV lineup at CES ...
More than one billion Android devices at risk of hacking - here's how to stay safe
More than one billion Android devices at risk of h ...
The PS5 will keep 4K Blu-rays alive that little bit longer
The PS5 will keep 4K Blu-rays alive that little bi ...