What’s in store for the HQ Trivia app?
What's in Store for the HQ Trivia app?
See what the former Vine Founders have up their sleeves...
If you’re not one of the often million plus crowd who frequents the hottest random knowledge sensation since Trivia Crack, then you’ve probably at least heard of HQ Trivia. But just in case you haven’t, here’s the gist: it’s a live game show that broadcasts twice a day on your phone, that awards anybody who gets all twelve consecutive questions correct a cash prize payout via PayPal. Winners share a pot that is usually a couple thousand dollars, but has been as much as $18,000. Though it sounds like one of those “watch this video and then you’ll get a small award” kind of gimmicks, it’s surprisingly completely void of any advertisements at all. So if it’s not earning anything, then how can HQ Trivia afford to just throw money away?
The answer comes from investors playing the long game. These high rollers are banking on HQ Trivia becoming a wide enough of a marketing sensation that other companies will spend big money to be part of the action. Venture Trivia capitalists who have faith in HQ have forked over $8 million, giving the app’s unproven business model a whopping valuation of between $80 and $100 million. That’d be high enough to get torn right up in the Shark Tank.
So why are investors willing to make such a bold gamble? Because HQ Trivia’s owners are Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, whom were the founders of another famous app, Vine (RIP). They sold Vine to Twitter in 2012 for $30 million, so they know a thing or two about making an app successful. This kind of expertise is critical leverage in securing funds for HQ Trivia, making investors believe they are qualified for a shot with their money at such a bold business.
Unfortunately, one of HQ Trivia’s strongest assets may also be its weakness. Yusupov recently threatened to fire Scott Rogowsky, who has become a growing celebrity after hosting a majority of the app’s shows. The dispute was over Rogowsky having an interview that Yusupov didn’t personally approve up, and ended up having quite the debacle with the interviewer over. As you can imagine, investors were not pleased with having a fan favorite almost lose his job because of such an outburst, which could explain why the app has no sponsors as of yet. Eventually, Yusupov swallowed his pride and made a pretty funny public apology. “Sorry for being a jerk. Lunch some time?”
So what does HQ Trivia’s future hold? As of now, they have yet to secure any deals with big names, and are burning through their stockpile of investments. They’ve got some bits to work out, and the road ahead won’t be easy. But if things go well for them, then we’re likely to see Scott Rogowsky sport some sponsorships during his trivia sessions. The easiest way to find out is to keep tuning in, so we’ll see you twice daily in the comment section until we find out.