HQ Trivia Raising $15M, And You Still Won’t Win

Morning Report: HQ Trivia is raising $15 million at a valuation of “more than $100 million,” according to Recode. That’s notable for several reasons.

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Regardless, back in tech, things are about where we left them last week. Cryptos are falling apart, the public tech equity markets are in fine shape, and there are oodles of dollars flowing through the venture ecosystem.

To underscore that last point, HQ Trivia, everyone’s favorite mobile game during the 2017 holiday season, is raising $15 million at around a $100 million valuation, according to Recode. Founders Fund’s Cyan Banister will lead the round and take a board seat.

That the round is happening is nearly surprising given that games investment is notoriously fickle and hit-driven. (From Zynga to King to Rovio to a host of other firms, that general rule has been shown to be mostly true.) Obviously, new investors in HQ are betting that quizzes—popular on both your television and in your local dive—are here to stay. HQ’s format could also become the pub quiz of the mobile-first generations. Perhaps.

But there’s another dimension to the deal that is worth mentioning. This headline from December encapsulates why HQ was struggling earlier to raise its new round: “Investors Are Passing on HQ Trivia Because of Its Co-Founder’s Behavior at Twitter.”

Who wants to put capital to work in a company that could end up being a massive headache? Recode’s piece recounts investor diligence into the founders of HQ, finding no behavior that warranted removal of the founders.

And so it seems that HQ will get its deal done. That’s a lot more money for you to watch rival HQties win while you fume that question four was bullshit.

At least that’s what I used to do.

From The Crunchbase Daily:

Impact investing sees a rise

  • Traditionally, impact investment has not been the cool kid in venture capital. But that’s changing, with more large investment managers and small funds joining the space. For a closer look, Crunchbase News talked to a few investors across the U.S. aiming to build portfolios that deliver both financial returns and social benefit.

Trial begins in Uber-Waymo case

  • A jury is slated to hear opening statements in the lawsuit between Google’s Waymo and Uber. Waymo is alleging that a former engineer stole trade secrets key to its autonomous driving technology before departing for a post at Uber.

Big Five report mixed results

  • The venture industry relies on the “Big Five” U.S. tech companies to acquire startups. But the latest quarterly earnings from Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, which were decent overall but did not smash expectations, could temper M&A plans.

Cryptos fall further

  • The price of bitcoin keeps going down. In morning trading, the value of the largest cryptocurrency fell to below $7,500, down from an all-time high of close to $20,000 in December. Other cryptos were down as well.

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

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