After two and a half years, HQ Trivia – the live game show app that handed out cash prizes to winners – is shutting down.
HQ Trivia’s decision to shut down was first reported by CNN. The company is laying off its 25 full-time employees, according to the report.
In a Tweeter CEO Rus Yusupov commented on the shutdown on Friday, writing: “With HQ, we have shown the world the future of television. We didn’t get where we hoped, but we stretched the world’s imagination for what is possible on our smartphones. Thanks to everyone who helped build this and thanks for playing.
Yusupov, in a note to company staff on Friday afternoon, said headquarters had received an offer to acquire from an “established company,” but at the last minute the buyer had withdrawn, according to the CNN report. Investors in the company were “no longer willing to finance the company, and therefore from today the head office will cease operations and go into dissolution,” Yusupov wrote.
The app was launched by parent company Intermedia Labs in August 2017. At its peak, HQ Trivia – which spawned a wave of copiers – had drawn some 2.3 million live viewers, each looking to win a game. an ever-increasing prize pool for answering 12 trivia questions correctly. At one point, the total prize pool for HQ Trivia reached $ 250,000 in a game sponsored by Warner Bros. “Ready Player One”.
Comedian Scott Rogowsky, aka “Quiz Daddy,” had been the popular host of HQ Trivia before leaving the concert last year to host a baseball show on the DAZN streaming service. Former guest host Matt Richards has become the regular host of the prime-time game show.
The head office has managed around 15 million all-time installations, peaking at 2 million in February 2018, according to research firm Sensor Tower. As of January 2020, the app only had 67,000 installations. The company also launched spin-off apps, including the HQ Words puzzle game and HQX, a live photo contest in which players voted on the top entries in different categories.
New York-based Intermedia Labs was co-founded by Yusupov and Colin Kroll, two of the creators of Vine, which Twitter acquired in 2012 and then closed four years later. In December 2018, Kroll was found dead in his New York apartment from an apparent drug overdose.
In 2018, Intermedia raised $ 15 million in funding led by venture capital firm Founders Fund, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, which had previously invested seed money in the startup, and said it had a valuation at the time of $ 100 million.
HQ Trivia had signed sponsorship deals with several entertainment companies, including Fox, Warner Bros., NBC and Universal Pictures, as well as Google, Nike, Target, JPMorgan Chase and MillerCoors.
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