Has Peter Thiel become the kiss of death for start-ups?

Has Peter Thiel become the kiss of death for start-ups

In case you haven’t heard of the app HQ Trivia, it’s one of those apps that has captured the imagination of smart phone users that hasn’t been seen since the days of Angry Birds. The trivia app works like a game show, broadcasting live and promises cash prizes to those users who can complete a series of trivia questions. However, something has happened that may put a huge dent in HQ’s popularity.

Like most start-ups, especially ones that hand out money as prizes, HQ has recently received a round of funding from a group of angel investors. HQ’s latest round of funding has come from the Founders Fund group. Founders Fund is a venture fund founded by the infamous Peter Thiel. As you may know, Thiel privately funded lawsuits against tech gossip blog Gawker including the Hulk Hogan lawsuit which eventually bankrupted Gawker. Some have called this plot by Thiel nothing more than an act of petty revenge after Gawker outed Thiel as being gay even though it wasn’t the most closely guarded secret in Silicon Valley. Others have referred to it as Thiel buying his way to censorship.

This new round of funding for HQ has led to a number of people to delete the app and has started the #DeleteHQ (NSFW language) movement on social media. Will this revolt actually affect HQ’s popularity or will the lure of free money continue to keep HQ Trivia at the top of the most popular apps?