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LOS ANGELES — If you’ve felt a lingering disturbance in the internet’s social order — a vague and unsettling sense that there is a raging party happening just out of view, that all the people cooler, richer and better looking than you are blowing off steam together in some V. It has expanded into an invitation-only social network populated by movie stars, fashion designers, pro athletes, tech executives and too many Instagram models to count.
hideaway while you waste your life on Twitter and Instagram — I have some bad news. Raya first appeared several years ago as a dating app aimed at people in creative industries.
“I didn’t run into anyone douchey.”Keeping up Raya’s values and mystique is partly why Mr.
Gendelman, a self-described introvert, has chosen to stay quiet.
He has kept the company small — Raya has just 13 full-time employees — and has raised only a few small investment rounds. The company recently acquired Chime, a video messaging app started by Jared Morgenstern, an early Facebook employee who is now Raya’s chief operating officer.Others put together elaborate résumés, complete with press clips and glowing testimonials. A friend confessed that she loved it and had used it to score several dates, including one with a Grammy-winning musician.Others described it less charitably as a meat market where A-listers and models were outnumbered by trust-fund try-hards and “quote-unquote photographers.”“It felt nice to be accepted,” said Terence Telle, a model in New York who joined Raya last year. Telle said, women often accused him of being an impostor using fake photos to get dates.In fact, Raya probably shouldn’t scale too quickly, given the risk of losing its cachet and allure.
Instead, his vision is to see Raya become a kind of digital Davos, a meeting place for influential people to concoct all kinds of commercial, artistic and humanitarian projects.“They have the really good-looking guys, the athletes, the actors, the guys that have like 500 followers on Instagram but got accepted because they’re a D. Greenberg said, “everyone’s someone.”The app costs .99 a month, but joining is no small ordeal.