Colin Kroll, the co-founder of popular apps HQ Trivia and Vine, has been found dead at his New York City apartment. He was 34.
The New York Times reports police attended to his SoHo apartment after receiving a call from someone concerned about his wellbeing.
Kroll was reportedly found unconscious near drug paraphernalia and substances believed to be cocaine and heroin. His death is currently being treated as an overdose.
HQ Trivia confirmed the news, issuing a statement speaking of the company’s “deep sadness”.
We learned today of the passing of our friend and founder, Colin Kroll, and it’s with deep sadness that we say goodbye. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.
— HQ Trivia (@hqtrivia) December 16, 2018
HQ Trivia co-founder Rus Yusupov issued his own statement, saying “He made the world and internet a better place.”
So sad to hear about the passing of my friend and co-founder Colin Kroll. My thoughts & prayers go out to his loved ones. I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart. He made the world and internet a better place. Rest in peace, brother.
— Rus (@rus) December 16, 2018
Kroll shot to notoriety when he launched the video-looping app Vine with Yusupov and a third co-founder, Dom Hoffman. It would go on to achieve extraordinary success, and was bought out by Twitter in 2012 for nearly $49m.
He would go on to found HQ Trivia, the immensely popular quiz app, in 2017. It quickly shot up the app charts, and boasted 2.38 million users at its peak.
Kroll was eventually named HQ Trivia CEO, despite being laid off by Twitter in 2014 after allegations of “creepy” behaviour towards women. Recode, which reported on Kroll’s alleged behaviour, said it was not aware of any formal sexual harassment complaints filed against him during his time at Twitter. Kroll denied having ever sexually harassed employees.
An investigation into Kroll’s death is underway.