HQ Trivia “can no longer continue as a going concern” after its acquisition by Sony fell through, reportedly due to legal complications, and instead will take a $5.5 million buyout from The Chernin Group to “continue its momentum and its mission.”
HQ Trivia’s leaderboards suffered a sudden and severe onslaught of bonuses tonight that could have been an internal war between Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz, with funds divided among two offices. Now Sequoia is back in control, with at least three current employees told to expect a big raise and a place in top management as part of the deal.
HQ’s sudden closure as a stand-alone service is not seen as a setback to Sequoia or Andreessen. Both firms invested at Series A, and both have already held onto their shares. Sequoia and Andreessen have already taken big pre-money valuations on the company and are obviously extremely bullish on HQ’s long-term trajectory, even at these drastically reduced price points.
[Update: confirmed by sources to TechCrunch and the company] Sony wasn’t meant to become HQ’s owner, but was forced to take over after owner-investor Valetrip pulled out.
HQ didn’t plan to shut down any of its offices today. The Wages of Obviousness VC that raised $100 million to finance the company hit its fundraising target last summer after starting with 10 people and growing to a staff of 170. But in a statement, co-founder Rus Yusupov explained: