Meet The Invite-Only Dating App You’ve Never Heard Of

One woman shares all

Tinder, Happn, Hinge, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel… when it comes to dating apps, there’s no shortage of options to download in the hope of meeting The One.

However when faced with too many options, using a dating app can quickly become an endless game of swiping (mostly) left and right, without actually getting any results.

There is one dating app, though, which breaks the mould.

Raya is certainly not the only private, ‘exclusive’ dating app, but it’s (somewhat ironically) the most popular. It’s been dubbed the dating app for rich and famous people, because users have reported coming across the profiles of models, actors and musicians in their mission for love. (A writer for The Cut detailed how the first profile she matched with was Patrick Schwarzenegger.)

Raya App

Raya describes itself as “an exclusive platform for people in creative industries.” How exclusive? Well, not just anyone can join. There’s an application process, because “Raya’s primary goal is for like-minded people to have an easy, accessible, and comfortable platform on which to connect.” The applications are “reviewed by an anonymous global committee” to “maintain that ideal.”

You’re also more likely to be accepted if you were referred by someone who’s already on the app: “While there isn’t a specific set of qualifications for applications, we will rarely, if ever, consider an applicant who wasn’t referred by a current member of the Raya community.”

Unlike other apps, there’s a fee—a one-month membership is $7.99, three months is $23.99, and six months is $29.99—and it links up to Instagram accounts instead of Facebook, because “we believe it is by far the most creative and expressive network with wide adoption.”

And the profiles are upgraded as they’re profile videos. You curate photos of yourself and set them to a soundtrack, which prospective partners view before deciding if they want to pursue something with you.

Given its exclusive nature and the possibility of hooking up with a celebrity at your fingertips, there’s a lot of curiosity about what it’s actually like being on the app—especially in Australia.

We asked someone from Sydney’s stylish social set to share her experience on Raya:

“I joined Raya six months after I split up with my ex-partner of 8 years. It was a long time to be in a relationship and as it goes, I felt uncomfortable with the attention my newfound singlehood had attracted among acquaintances, and quite mortified by jeering my friends would subject me to if they saw my profile on Tinder or any public dating app. There was also a need to stay respectful to the feelings of my ex-partner.

“Then I heard about Raya and it seemed meant to be: a private app for creative people had my name all over it—I had always gone for creative men. Also, it didn’t seem like it was a cheap hook-up app either, more of a dating or networking app.

“After applying and being approved, syncing my Insta photos and adding a tongue-in-cheek song (‘Boys of Summer’) to the god awful intro reel everyone needs to do , I was in.

“And then, I realised, all the men were overseas. What a disaster!

“Still, the men on here were interesting, fun, and handsome, like a pond stacked full of good fish. I had numerous convos with artists and musicians. Ultimately, it was not meant to be, so I broke it off.

“I guess my experience with Raya was that it opened the world up in a way that I hadn’t expected. I still stay in touch with some of the men I talked to and dated, of course, only as friends.”

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