Silicon Valley investors are closing the door on the popular Trivia app, HQ.
With a wave of successes in 2017, the founders of the application, Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll are trying to raise a new round of financing, hoping to get a valuation of up to $ 100 million. According to a report by Recode however, things do not go exactly as planned.
While venture capitalists are always attentive to the next big thing, and headquarters certainly fits in this respect, many are declining to participate. Some are concerned about the longevity of the application, while others are more than a little concerned about the founders of the application. At least three prominent investors have refused to participate so far because of troubling conduct on behalf of the founders found during due diligence.
Colin Kroll, for example, has many questions after being fired from Twitter shortly after the company acquired its last start-up, Vine. According to three people with direct knowledge of the situation, Kroll was fired for being a bad administrator, and for his "scary" behavior towards women, behavior that bothered many former colleagues.
It was also difficult to work with him, according to the conversations Recode had with more than 1
And then there is Yusupov. Yusupov, one of Vine's other co-founders, was also fired from Twitter. But perhaps his most atrocious offense was his treatment of a reporter, Taylor Lorenz. With the intention of writing a cheerful piece for The Daily Beast Lorenz approached the star presenter of the application, Scott Rogowsky.
Then this happened, according to Lorenz:
The Daily Beast simultaneously reached HQ's public relations e-mail account and Yusupov, one of the founders of HQ, informing him of our plans to write a story about the presenter of the program.
Several hours later, we received an email from Yusupov saying that HQ "no" The reporter informed Yusupov that we had already interviewed Scott and that the story was about to be published, but he encouraged him to call us Any worry.
That's when things were made available to Scott to discuss his participation in the headquarters. it derailed.
Yusupov, the CEO of HQ, called the journalist's cell phone and immediately raised his voice. He said that we were "completely unauthorized" to write about Scott or HQ without his approval and that if we wrote any kind of article about Scott, he would lose his job.
The article continues to discuss the abusive behavior of the Yusupov, and the piece of fluff was eventually reformed to focus on the HQ co-founder, rather than his host. Ysupov, on the other hand, then apologized for his behavior.
The future of HQ is uncertain. Investors hope that the application can make the transition from a trivial program twice a day to a legitimate business that exceeds its viral appeal. That is a challenge. Making bets on two founders with known problems of character, that is something totally different.