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In fact, Raya probably shouldn’t scale too quickly, given the risk of losing its cachet and allure.

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Telle, who is now dating someone and has stopped actively using Raya.

“I matched with a lot of models, and even one celebrity.”Céline Bossart, 26, a freelance wine and spirits journalist, said that during the time she used Raya actively — she now has a boyfriend — the app lived up to its reputation for civility.“People are a little better behaved, and more classy” than on apps like Tinder and Bumble, she said.

For years, he avoided publicly identifying himself, even hiding his job from some friends and family.

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.

Its website contains no mention of investors, founders or staff members, and the company has never spoken about its origins. Last month, after pushing Raya for answers, I received a text from a man who said he wanted to meet in Los Angeles, and out himself as the company’s founder.

For years, members have speculated about who was behind it. The man said that telling Raya’s story would be cathartic, and that it was time to set the record straight on what the app was really about — what kinds of people it was meant to bring together.

Maybe you are one of the more than 100,000 people on the waiting list?

“It’s the Soho House of dating apps,” said Hayley Greenberg, 27, a social media manager in Los Angeles who joined Raya in 2016 and used it for several months.

Most of Raya’s revenue comes from its monthly subscription fees, but there are lots of ways it could make money, by throwing sponsored member events, or introducing paid extras for power users.

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