The R62 000-a-year social network

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Sep 1, 2015

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Social media is a huge part of our daily lives. Every little thing that happens is documented on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We Periscope and SnapChat our thoughts about things and all this, for free.

So would you fork out more than R30 000 a year to be a part of an elite social network? Is Facebook just not exclusive enough for you? Europe’s wealthy are already steering away from the regular social networks and they are paying big bucks for the exclusivity.


The Marque

No time to create a profile? Enter The Marque, this network is very much like an invite-only LinkedIn where all the hard work is done for you. Once you’ve been asked to join by another member, and have passed the strict screening process, a dedicated “relationship manager” crafts your profile for you. Your profile will include your work history, education, business interests and hobbies. Launched in April by Andrew Wessels, a South African-born former venture capitalist, it’s preparing for a roll-out in the US and the rest of the world.

Cost:£1 000 (R21 000) a year



Eleqt users post a bio, photos and updates and send friendship requests to other members. Sounds like Facebook right? Where the site is different is the social calendar which advertises exclusive parties in Dubai, film premieres and important conferences. The calendar advertises events that only the mega rich can afford to attend. The site was launched in 2012, as part of concierge specialists the Quintessentially Group and it’s now owned by business service experts the EFactor Group. Membership is invitation-only: the screening process is based on factors that include your job and your motivation for wanting to join. It sounds like a job application.

Cost:£3 000 (R62 000) a year.


Opportunity Network

That corner office can get lonely from time to time, so it’s only fair that bosses get their own networking platform. Well the people behind Opportunity Network think it’s fair. This network is an anonymous, invitation-only circle of chief executives launched in March last year by Brian Pallas, a 28-year-old Italian who is a former private equity consultant. The company now has 20-plus staff and has offices in New York, London, Barcelona, Santiago and Dubai.

Now in order to become a member your name needs to be put forward by a large financial institution; small players need not waste their time because the average user manages a company with revenues between R250m and R1 billion. Members can share business opportunities anonymously and if another person is interested in a deal, the Network introduces them so they can take the conversation offline.


Cost:£1 000 (R21 000) a year.

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