dating

Inside the exclusive dating app that's "wall-to-wall" with single celebrities.

Online dating is nothing short of terrifying for the best of us mere mortals, but what are you meant to do if you’re a huge Hollywood celebrity looking for a normal, non-superfan weirdo who’s hoping to leak your secrets to the media and maybe steal some of your panties while they’re at it?

Enter Raya: the dating app that’s so exclusive, no one actually knows how to pronounce its name. (Some say Ray-ah, others say Rie-ah, and a few claim it’s actually Rah-jah.)

celebrity dating app
Laverne Cox is rumoured to be a Raya user. Source: Getty.

Described by its creators as "an exclusive dating and networking platform for people in creative industries," the low-key pay-per-month app was launched in March 2015, and to date, boasts one of the most elite lists of singles in the world. Think Amy Schumer, Elijah Wood, Cara Delevigne and Diplo, to name a few.

According to one former user who spoke exclusively to Mamamia last week, the app is "wall-to-wall celebrity."

While using Raya, he matched with stars like Laverne Cox, Taryn Manning, several comedians from Saturday Night Live and notable supermodels.

celebrity dating app
Joe Jonas is rumoured to be a Raya user. Source: Getty.
ADVERTISEMENT

The layout, he says, is not like that of regular dating apps, but rather set out as a more interactive experience.

"When you open up the app there's a photo of someone's profile and a button at the bottom that says 'Play'. When you press that, a song of the person's choice plays and a slideshow of their photos begins."

And having that audio element to a person's profile, the New York-based source says, made things really interesting.

"It was an extra element of taste that gave you not only more of an idea about who they were, but also something to talk about if you needed a conversation starter."

The Raya homepage is nothing but a logo.

The app also boasts some impressive protective features that ensure not only that the privacy of its users is respected, but also forces people to play by the rules.

First of all, getting onto Raya is really bloody hard.

You have to be invited to join by a current user, and then have the invitation reviewed by a panel who look at things like how many Instagram followers you have and if any celebrities follow you.

And spoiler: the more times you apply, the less likely you are to ever actually get on.

celebrity dating app
Amy Schumer met boyfriend Ben Hanisch on Raya. Source: Getty.

"Everyone I invited to join got rejected," our source said.

"I've got no idea why I got accepted and they didn't; and it definitely made social situations a little awkward."

If you are deemed worthy of being approved, you're then required to pay the nominal fee of $7 per month (which Raya claims is necessary to keep the operation running discreetly and without advertising) and follow some simple rules.

celebrity dating app
Cara Delevigne is rumoured to be a Raya user. Source: Getty.
ADVERTISEMENT

"Screenshotting profiles was a big no," our source said.

"Every time you took a screen shot you'd receive a warning message telling you they knew what you were doing. But having said that, I never heard of anyone being kicked off for actually doing it."

Using Raya for around six months, our source said despite the obvious exclusivity factor, there was one really great thing the app offered its users.

celebrity dating app
Elijah Wood is another rumoured user. Source: Getty.

"There was less scepticism on Raya [than other dating apps] because the people on there had already been vetted," he said, explaining that with the leg work being done by a third party, users could relax a bit more.

As for the creators claims that the app is for a creative community? "That's bullshit," he said matter-of-factly.

"There are a lot of attractive people on there, but just because someone is an actor or a model doesn't inherently mean they're creative. Usually, it just means they're exceptionally good looking. I'd say only around five per cent of the people I came into contact on there were truly creative and interesting.

00:00 / ???