HQ Trivia may be in good financial position following a hefty investment, but a mass exodus threatens to tear it all down.
Mega-popular quiz show app HQ Trivia will reportedly receive $15 million from venture firm Founders Fund to open a new round of financing. The funds should help it continue to host twice-daily live trivia shows to its more than 1.5 million users.
But there’s a problem. The money comes from the pockets of billionaire libertarian Peter Thiel, who doesn’t exactly have the best reputation among Silicon Valley elites. Thiel financed a series of lawsuits against Gawker, forcing the news media site to shut down. He also donated $1.25 million to the Trump campaign and has an odd fascination with young people’s blood. Needless to say, he has his fair share of enemies.
His contribution to the trivia app has led to the latest online campaign: #DeleteHQ. Sparked by reporters from various news organizations, the hashtag picked up steam on Friday afternoon.
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) February 2, 2018
— Steven Abt (@steveabt) February 2, 2018
Others chimed in with their own reasons for deleting the app.
Dear @hqtrivia I will be deleting your app today. I cannot support a business associated with @peterthiel. I hope this is simply a failure on your part to due diligence on before accepting his help. #DELETEHQ
— josephcouture (@josephcouture) February 2, 2018
Even Blink-182 lead singer Mark Hoppus will stop competing in the quickfire rounds of general knowledge questions.
First reported by Recode, news of the investment round broke on Thursday, though it’s still not clear how involved Thiel will be in the process. Regardless, critics will need to do more than delete the trivia app to distance themselves from one of Trump’s biggest supporters.
As Fast Company’s Sarah Kessler points out, boycotting Peter Thiel is no easy task.
“If a protester wanted to make absolutely sure that they were not directly or indirectly benefiting Thiel, they’d need to quit Facebook, avoid making transactions using credit card processor Stripe, stop listening to Spotify, carry a list of thousands of Y Combinator companies, and move somewhere other than the United States (without booking an Airbnb),” Kessler wrote in a 2016 article.
We have reached out to HQ Trivia to learn more about its investments and reaction to the #DeleteHQ campaign.