Daniel Gendelman, 34, has revealed himself to be the Founder of Raya in a NYT interview this week.
The premium app was featured in the 2018 GDI Power Book after firmly establishing itself as the leading celebrity dating platform, or ‘Illuminati Tinder’.
There are over 100,000 people on the waiting list for Raya, which admits users based on factors including Instagram following and Raya member connections.
Vulgar displays of wealth are frowned upon in the applications process, and money is not a prerequisite for admittance – the founder says profiles showing off Lamborghinis are quickly rejected.
Raya, the article explains, is the Hebrew word for ‘friend’. Gendelman had the idea for the site while studying in Israel.
“I tried to solve a big problem for a small amount of people,” he said, referring to creative types who struggled to find connections on mainstream dating apps.
Model Terrence Telle gave his thoughts on the in-app experience, noting that it was far easier to date on Raya than on apps like Tinder. On other apps, women would regularly accuse him of having a fake profile.
Raya is expected to become profitable this year. It has recently added networking functionality and an interactive map for members to locate one another.
The article concludes that Raya is a positive community space reminiscent of self-moderating online spaces from the past.
“Raya exists as an elite response to the homogenization of digital culture,” it argues.
Read more here.