The career of Colin Kroll, cofounder of Vine and HQ Trivia who has died at age 34
Avery HartmansDec 17, 2018, 02.29 AM
Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Variety
HQ Trivia CEO and Vine cofounder Colin Kroll has died at the age of 34.
Kroll helped create two of the most viral apps of the last decade after getting his start at Yahoo and travel site JetSetter.
Here's a look at Kroll's career.
Colin Kroll, the cofounder of HQ Trivia and Vine, died on Sunday. He was 34.
Kroll was the CEO of viral quiz app HQ Trivia up until his death on Dec. 16, and helped create popular video sharing app Vine, which was sold to Twitter in 2012.
Kroll majored in computer science and worked at Yahoo and travel site JetSetter before striking out on his own. While he's had success in the tech world, Kroll also faced complaints of an aggressive management style and inappropriate behavior toward women in recent years.
Hours after reports of Kroll's death, HQ posted on Twitter: "We learned today of the passing of our friend and founder, Colin Kroll, and it's with deep sadness that we say goodbye."
Here's how Kroll got his start and helped build two of the most viral apps of the last decade.
Kroll studied computer science at Oakland University located in Rochester, Michigan, about 30 miles outside of Detroit.
Kroll started his career as a software engineer at Right Media, a platform for buying and selling advertising space. The company was acquired by Yahoo for $680 million in 2007.
Kroll left Yahoo in 2011 to become VP of product at luxury travel site JetSetter. He went on to become chief technology officer. The site is now owned by Trip Advisor.
In June 2012, Kroll and his JetSetter coworker Dom Hofmann — along with Rus Yusupov — created Vine, a short-form video sharing platform. In October of that year, before the app could even launch, Twitter bought it for $30 million.
By April 2013, Vine was the No. 1 free app in the App Store and became a sensation among teens and young adults. At one point, it had more than 200 million monthly active users. But the app struggled to make money, and was plagued by other issues.
In 2014, Kroll stepped back from a day-to-day roll at Vine, becoming an advisor at Twitter and Vine. By December of that year, Kroll left the company altogether.
Kroll cofounded HQ Trivia in 2015 with his Vine cofounder, Yusupov.
In December, Kroll was found dead in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 34.