Colin Kroll, HQ Trivia and Vine co-founder, dies at 34

By Justin Carissimo

/ CBS News

This Jan. 9, 2014, photo shows Colin Kroll at the Variety Breakthrough of the Year Awards in Las Vegas. Steven Lawton/Getty Images for Variety

Colin Kroll, the CEO and co-founder of the popular HQ Trivia app, has died, the company said Sunday. He was 34.

"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," a HQ spokesperson said in a statement.

The New York City Police Department said officers responded to a 911 call for a wellness check early Sunday morning at Kroll's residence in lower Manhattan. Officers discovered a male subject unconscious and unresponsive in a bedroom, and he was declared dead at the scene. The investigation is ongoing and the medical examiner will determine the cause of death, police said.

Kroll helped co-found the hosted quiz game, which became a viral sensation after launching in 2017. He was named the company's CEO in September, taking over for Rus Yusupov, who went on to serve as chief creative officer. Yusupov remembered Kroll on Twitter, 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 also helped found Vine, the short form video platform. Twitter bought the service in 2012 for $30 million before shutting it down in 2018.

Police initially said Kroll was 35, but the company confirmed he was 34 years old.

First published on December 16, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Justin Carissimo

Justin Carissimo is a breaking news editor at CBS News.

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