In early 2018, HQ Trivia was the hot new thing in startup-land: an app where people could take part in a live-video game show and win real money. The company raised $15m in funding and at its peak had more than two million people playing at the same time. Since then, though, HQ Trivia has had a troubled time: falling user numbers, the death of one of its co-founders, staff layoffs and internal discord. Now, just two years after it was the talk of Silicon Valley, HQ Trivia has shut down.

“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,” wrote CEO Rus Yusupov. “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.”

There was time for one last, chaotic (and clearly alcohol-fuelled) episode of HQ Trivia before the doors closed. It now joins the annals of app crazes which ultimately died away, like Draw Something except without an $180m exit before its novelty faded.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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