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Daniel Gendelman, 34, is handsome and thinly bearded.
He wore a white T-shirt and ordered plain oatmeal when I met him recently in a Venice Beach restaurant. O., Jared Morgenstern, at the Raya headquarters in Los Angeles.
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.
You better not go around bragging to everyone that you matched with some semi-famous Who's it for: Ivy League snobs Sparkology sells itself as a luxury matchmaking service for "well-intentioned men and women," where the dudes are all verified grads of top-tier schools, and you can only join if you're invited by the site's team or referred by a current member.
Some other interesting details: guys have to pony up a virtual currency to initiate conversation with a lady, and the app provides a concierge service that will help you boost your profile and even plan out a whole date when you're ready to take things offline. The League claims to screen users via some mysterious algorithm that "keeps [the] community well-balanced and high-quality," while somehow hiding you from friends, “business connections,” and coworkers.
Surely, you'd never slum it with the simpletons on Hinge, Bumble, or Ok Cupid.
I mean, can you even Luckily, there's a whole subset of exclusive dating apps catered to elite clientele that restrict access only to users who meet certain standards.
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.
It also promises no bait-and-switches ("You’ll never have to wonder if that Harvard hottie is too good to be true"), but who cares, you're too popular as it is, anyway!
Who's it for: Ambitious European playboys and party girls This London-based network stands by a strict invite-only policy, screening people to make sure they'll jive with the "exclusive community of inspiring singles" it's curated on the app.
Gaining access to Raya involves an extensive application process, where a committee weighs a combination of factors, including your “overall Instagram influence" and who recommended you, before voting you in or out.
If you're worthy enough to be accepted, you'll be swiping through stock that includes everyone from Kelly Osbourne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, to Elijah Wood and Trevor Noah.