Colin Kroll, the cofounder of HQ Trivia and Vine, has died at the age of 34.
TMZ was first to report the death of the tech executive, while The Daily Beast and others confirmed the story with New York Police Department sources.
The latter said he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday night. He was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:18 a.m. on Sunday, it added.
TMZ said his death was caused by an “apparent drug overdose,” although this is not yet verified. Kroll was discovered by police after his girlfriend was unable to make contact with him, TMZ added.
The NYPD did not initially name Kroll, but told Business Insider:
“On Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 0018 hours, police responded to a 911 call for a wellness check at 56 Spring Street within the confines of the 5th Precinct.
“Upon arrival, officers discovered a 35-year-old male unconscious and unresponsive in a bedroom. EMS responded and pronounced the individual deceased on scene. The investigation is ongoing and the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.”
Later, the NYPD said Kroll’s age of death was 34.
HQ Trivia has posted the following statement on Twitter:
Live quiz app HQ Trivia launched in August 2017 with Kroll serving as chief technology officer. He was named CEO in September and was tasked with managing the day-to-day business, while his predecessor Rus Yusupov focused on designing new shows.
The once viral app closed a $15 million funding round in March, including raising investment from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, but cracks have been showing in recent months. Usage has dropped and Recode reported in November that an employee filed a complaint over Kroll’s “aggressive management style.”
Kroll had previously apologized after Recode reported in February that he had exhibited “inappropriate behavior toward women” while he worked at Twitter-owned Vine. Kroll denied accusations of sexual misconduct, but admitted he was fired from Vine for “poor management.”
At the time, he said: “I was let go from Vine four years ago for poor management. It was a painful experience, but an eye-opening one that served as a catalyst for professional development and greater awareness in the office. I now realize that there are things I said and did that made some feel unappreciated or uncomfortable. I apologize to those people.”
Kroll cofounded HQ Trivia in 2015, three years after launching the now-defunct video app Vine with Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov. He previously worked at Jetsetter and Yahoo.
Benjamin Goggin contributed additional reporting to this piece.