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12 questions on the way forward for HQ trivia and its $15M fundraise


HQ is redefining cellular, creating via its twice-daily trivia games a way of urgency that pierces the monotony of our social feeds. Now it’s raised a giant spherical of funding to show its scrappy operation into the Jeopardy from tomorrow. However similar to its 12-round video games, we’ve obtained 12 questions (and a few solutions) for HQ:

1. Why is HQ particular?

All the pieces else in your telephone occurs in your schedule, so there’s nothing to overlook, but in addition nothing to stay up for. By assembling its gamers (generally known as HQties) at midday and 6pm Pacific every day through push notification, it creates a shared expertise akin to an enormous sporting occasion. And there’s an actual incentive. Gamers attempt to reply 12 multiple-choice questions, and anybody who will get all of them splits the jackpot. One in all its largest video games lately noticed 2 million gamers vying for $50,000. Even when a bunch of individuals win and everybody simply will get a little bit minimize of the money, that shared expertise makes them really feel momentarily well-known. Few apps drive such emotion.

2. What’s up with the fundraise?

HQ’s dad or mum firm Intermedia Labs simply raised $15 million at a $100 million post-money valuation, Axios confirmed after Recode reported some particulars final month. The spherical was led by Founders Fund and its associate Cyan Banister, with participation from former investor Lightspeed Ventures, which had beforehand invested $eight million.

three. Will HQ lastly cease crashing? 

HQ regularly has to postpone video games as a result of its servers are overloaded by all of the gamers becoming a member of. The funding will primarily go towards bettering its engineering so the app doesn’t crash and folks can rely on getting their trivia repair every day.

four. How will it monetize?

HQ isn’t incomes cash proper now, however there are many potentialities. Co-founders Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, who previously constructed Vine, say to not anticipate interstitial adverts between questions. As a substitute, you may think about manufacturers sponsoring questions or offering an even bigger jackpot. HQ may characteristic product placement and even give away these items to runners-up. It may let customers pay for an additional life, as an alternative of simply letting you earn them via referrals. Or it may create a particular “Champion’s Edition” with greater prizes however that solely paid subscribers can be part of.

5. How does it preserve the sport feeling recent?

HQ has had a number of visitor hosts, like Jimmy Kimmel. However HQties love Scott a lot that individual-question visitor hosts may work higher. Multi-media questions with video or pictures may spice issues up. And mini-games wherein eradicated gamers can take part may preserve them watching even after they can’t win the jackpot. Occasional themed video games round matters like sports activities or video video games may develop the app’s person base, attracting industry-specific sponsors by pulling in area of interest audiences who then stick round for the general-purpose video games.

6. Will it tie in with tv?

HQ lately obtained some free pre- and post-Tremendous Bowl commercials due to NBC proprietor Comcast, fueling hypothesis of a partnership. HQ may at all times launch a tv present that may develop its mainstream viewers, however pit it in opposition to tons of different TV recreation exhibits. If HQ may work out sync a TV and cellular model, it may create a brand new imaginative and prescient for interactive leisure.

7. Can it internationalize earlier than clones do?

China already has a slew of HQ copy-cats, like “Million Dollar Hero” from Toutiao, the information app owned by Bytedance that lately acquired Musically. Some even get extra gamers than the unique. HQ has spawned its personal U.Okay. model, but it surely must work out divide and conquer the globe earlier than native upstarts field it out. A Spanish or Indian language recreation may show widespread.

eight. Will it promote to a giant platform?

HQ could be the crown jewel of platforms like Fb Watch or Snapchat Uncover. They’re certainly contemplating construct or purchase their manner into the market. At a $100 million worth, they might simply pay a giant premium and nonetheless get a doubtlessly profitable deal. The truth that HQ hasn’t already pale away like some fad since its August debut epitomizes the glued-in engagement platforms crave and will make it a gorgeous acquisition. However that’s additionally why the founders shouldn’t promote. After watching Twitter purchase and squander Vine, Yusupov famously tweeted, “Don’t sell your company!”

9. Does host Scott RogowskY have an fairness stake so he’ll keep?

We don’t know, however HQ could be good to make him a partial proprietor. HQ’s spunky quizzmaster is the face of the model that’s beloved by followers. HQ may take a severe hit if some competitor or tech big like Fb or Snapchat poached him with a giant payday to make their very own HQ clone.

10. Can HQ keep away from scandals?

To change into a family-favorite recreation individuals need to play collectively, HQ can’t be dragged down. Yusupov already flipped when a reporter talked to Rogowski. Rumors have swirled round Kroll’s behavior toward women whereas at Vine, however Banister says she “became comfortable after looking at everything” earlier than investing. Few apps depend on a character like Rogowski, or encourage such word-of-mouth dialogue, making the startup notably susceptible to crises. Everybody have to be on their greatest conduct.

11. Can HQ beat the cheats?

The entire recreation falls aside if it doesn’t appear truthful. Some individuals already play by attempting to Google the solutions, although the 10-second time restrict makes that robust. Introducing unGooglable textual content questions, multimedia clues and utilizing particular backgrounds that thwart computer vision may preserve HQ a take a look at of human data.

12. Will HQ keep widespread?

When Trending wrote the first-ever article about HQ back in October, there have been simply three,300 gamers competing for a $150 jackpot. Now with hundreds of thousands of players chasing tens of hundreds in prizes, it’s skilled meteoric development. It ought to actually add some little quiz individuals can attempt after they join in order that they don’t have to attend for the subsequent scheduled recreation. However so long as the engineering retains up with its dimension, the prizes continue to grow and the competitors retains triggering your adrenaline, I believe HQ will thrive. If fewer individuals begin enjoying, your possibilities of profitable large enhance, making a pure barrier to churn. And keep in mind, TV recreation exhibits typically run for many years.

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