It was quietly launched in 2015 and takes great lengths to stay under the radar. Few have even heard of the app. Nobody knows much about its founders. It avoids normal technology hubs and instead conducts business through offices in LA, New York, London, and Paris. Only a select few are allowed into the social network – membership is approved by a secretive anonymous committee. Members must adhere to strict rules of confidentiality. Even an attempt at a screenshot inside the app results in a numbered, filed warning that threatens to revoke your membership if the screenshot shows up on the Internet. The list of the rich and famous who use the app is long and include celebrities such as Skrillex, Elijah Wood, Amy Schumer, Demi Lovato, and John Mayer. Informally it’s known as Tinder for Illuminati or the Dating App for the Rich and Famous. Formally it’s called Raya.
What is Raya?
The first rule of Raya is – you don’t talk about Raya. Raya is an iOS (iPhone) app. Members create video slideshows to show themselves off, then set the video to music. The app filters “matches” by age, gender, and occupational areas such as Entertainment, Art and Design, and Business and Tech.
Raya is an app for dating but also acts like a private Facebook-like social networking app for the rich and famous. One user described Raya like this:
“The men on here were interesting, fun, and handsome, like a pond stacked full of good fish.”
Another anonymous celebrity who had been on five dates matched through the app said,
“Everyone on Raya has their sh*t together, with respectable jobs. Plus, every single person on it is legitimately hot.”
How to be accepted in the Raya social network
To be accepted into the Raya social network, you must be famous, wealthy, or both. You must also be cool, creative, and attractive. Ugly people need not apply. The number of followers on Instagram and Facebook is often used as a gauge for acceptance. If you have less than 5,000 followers, don’t bother. If you have friends on Raya, great. Personal references from existing members go a long way. One Raya user explained,
“I was waitlisted for a year. I’m a pretty well-connected dancer/model. Got a new gig, met a hot chick already on there. Got a referral and my approval was almost instant.”
Who uses Raya?
The secretive nature of Raya makes determining its membership difficult. Those that talk about the app are quickly booted off. But here are a few celebrities that have been confirmed as Raya users (almost all confirmations came from other Raya members).
Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz)
Flume (Harley Edward Streten)
Zedd (Anton Zaslavski)