How Much will App Development Cost Your Startup?

You’ve been sailing through this pandemic and saw how the world economy shifted from offline to online. Many with a vision were quick to pivot into an app-based startup business model which seems to be working great, so far.

If you’re here, you may be also thinking of launching your own startup or a mobile app. But before you do, it’s important to factor for the cost of building an app or app development cost.

Developing an app is a big commitment – both financially as well as mentally. You will spend hours perfecting your idea and will invest a lot of money that will define your success. So, before you get started, why not get a clear idea of how much money you need in the bank to make your app a reality. That’s what we’ll try to uncover in this blog – the cost of developing an app, the factors and the best ways for you to succeed in 2020 and beyond.

How Much will it cost to make an app?

Let’s just say that you’ve cracked the idea- you know your app would be valuable to your target audience. And you hope to be profitable within the first year too. But still, you need an approximation of costs before you even begin.

You’d have to invest resources and money in building an actual app. Someone will build an app for you can pay their hourly rates.

You will have to basically multiply the number of hours required with the hourly rate of your dedicate development team to find the cost of building an app.

No. of hours x Hourly Rate = Cost of App Development

Cost of App Development: General Estimates & Ballpark Figure
App TypeGeneral FeaturesTime RequiredApprox. Cost
Basic Mobile AppDesign, Sing up, Login, Social Login, Profile, API integration to fetch data like booking etc(Android + iPhone).250-300$4,000 - $5,000
Standard Mobile AppBasic + Booking,Location Features, Payment Integration, In-app purchase(Android + iPhone).480-600$7,200 - $9,000
Custom Mobile AppAs per requirements like Marketplace, Uber, Social Media, etc.1000-1600$15,000 - $24,000

What affects your app development cost?

You know now that you’ll need to account for hourly rates.

But what are the factors that will affect your total mobile app development cost? Is the hourly rate standard or flexible? What about the number of hours that will go into building a mobile app?

Well, there are two forces at play here according to the app development cost equation. Firstly, the factors that will affect how much money you will pay by the hour and secondly the factors that will affect the number of hours employed.

Factors Affecting Hourly Rates
  • Region or Geography of Your app Development Team
Factors Affecting Number of Hours
  • Complexity of Features
  • Size of Your Development Team

Best Way to Control the Cost of Building an App When You're Starting Up

We all know how Apple began, or for that case HP, or Microsoft. Everyone got busy in their garage, trying to make things work and built their ways on-the-go.

Starting up is hard. You don’t know if you’ll succeed. Your peers are doing great at their jobs, there are responsibilities and you don’t want to lose it all.

When you're starting up, every penny counts. So, you must spend money wisely, with app development too.

Before going deeper into controlling your app development cost, let's just clear how apps are built, globally. A company has three routes, generally:

1. Hiring a local freelancer or building an in-house team
2. Getting in touch with an American company/on-shore development
3. Offshore Mobile App Development by a Remote Team

If you choose a local freelancer in the US, you will not get the desired output (unless he's really into app development and has catered to Fortune 500 companies). Hiring a full team in-house will not be viable for you, at least at the beginning. American onshore development companies will cost you a bomb.

So, what should you do?

If you want to build a great app but don't want to invest heavily in managing a team or spend too much time and money with an agency, you should think of outsourcing.

SEE ALSO: How to create an app from scratch

Outsourcing App Development: How to Build a Remote Team?

If you are just beginning or even if you have started scaling up, it's better to use a remote team to outsource app development.

When you outsource you save money, time and the hassle of managing operations. Also, you can use quality talent for app development that you might not get at your budget, otherwise. Here is everything you need to get started with outsourcing app development.

Cost to Outsource App Development

Let's say you've got a remote team ready. What next? Well, the best way to make the most out of your limited budget is to create an MVP now.

Building an MVP to Validate Your Idea

More than 1 million apps are launched on Google Play Store every day!


(Source: )

In a crowded market like this, you can't put all your bets on a single horse. It's wiser to test, improvise and gauge the market before going all-in into deep waters.

That's why it is always better to build an MVP before spending your entire budget into mobile app development.

An MVP helps you understand the market, their expectations and build a product around what your audience needs. MVP helps in creating a functional product in minimum time and cost.

If you want to play it big, it is always better to start taking small steps like MVP development. And if you're confused about MVP, we've sorted everything below.

MVP Mobile App Cost?

Profitable App Development [Approach That'll Cover the Cost to Make an App in 2020]


Enough of the starters, let's get to the main course. By now you know how much app development will cost you and why you need to outsource app development.

The thing is- you're building an app to get traction and possibly build a business around it. You need hard results from your app startup.

Android, iOS and the app ecosystem has been there for a while now. People have experimented with various app-based business models. So, there are profitable models that the world knows now better than before.

In the next sections, we'll cover a few models that will help you cover costs and grow as an app-based startup.

On-demand Mobile Apps: The Opportunity & The Costs Involved

On-demand- that's the biggest economic revolution in the last decade. Several successful startups built their business around on-demand service delivery.

The opportunity is also huge compared to eCommerce or other segments, if we look at the numbers.


On-demand apps connect service providers and consumers in real-time, solving real-world problems. Think of Uber, or Instacart, or any app that you've used to fulfill your daily needs.

We've covered on-demand apps extensively throughout this blog and if you don't know where to get started, here is something that will help you know more.

You can read about on-demand business models, how to build an on-demand app and the cost of on-demand app development in detail.

On Demand App Development

Marketplace Apps: The Opportunity & the Cost Involved


Just like on-demand solutions, marketplaces have also been a big hit in the last 10 years. Think about it yourself- you have been surrounded by online marketplaces right now. Even the richest man on the planet runs a marketplace. That's enough validation for a business model, right?

We've been building marketplaces for years and distilled our knowledge about marketplace opportunities and the cost in a single resource. You can check it out if you need a cost estimate for marketplace app development:

How much does it cost to Develop a Marketplace?

On-demand & Marketplace App Ideas [With Cost of Building an App]

If you're deep into love for building your app and launching your startup, here are some great ideas to get started.

The list consists of several ideas that we believe have the potential to become the next big unicorns, even when there's competition out there.

We've built and launched each one of these so you can be sure that we are talking sense here.

Car Wash App Development Costs
Car Wash App Development Costs

More than 2 billion cars are washed annually in North America alone. Clearly, there's a massive growth opportunity in this segment.

If you're thinking of building a car wash app, it would cost you around $4800-$10,000 approximately, subject to the features, business model and other factors.

You can explore more about car wash app development and see how it can give you an edge in the blog.

Read More

Dating App
Dating App Development Costs

You know- online dating is now one of the most common ways to meet new people and find love among the youth. So, why not build an app and succeed like Tinder?

The industry is already booming and expected to cross $1.1 billion in revenues by 2024.

You can build a dating app within a budget of $5000-$10,000. But you need to be careful about the features, revenue model and other factors that we've covered in a dedicated blog for the cost of dating app development.

Read More

Salon Marketplace App
Salon Marketplace App Development Cost

If beauty and salon industry is your calling, then you can think of building an app like Uber for haircuts and other salon services.

Hygiene is a big concern post-COVID and if you position yourself right, you can gain traction locally or regionally with a marketplace app for salon business.

A standard salon marketplace app would cost anywhere between $3,000 to $15,000 with a remote development team. Get all the details to build an app for salons and what will it cost you in the following blog.

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Delivery App
Delivery App Development Cost

Do you know the best thing about on-demand? Everything is at your disposal and just a click away. In 2020, if you need a delivery, you just open an app, place a request and get it at your doorstep.

If you are thinking of building your own delivery app, it will cost you at least $3,000-$10,000 for an app with basic features and functionalities.

This idea is a goldmine already with startups like Dunzo getting great traction. If you are also keen on this idea, here is an exhaustive guide on how to build an app like Dunzo.

Read More

Grocery App
Grocery App Development Cost

Everyone needs groceries and after the pandemic, the on-demand home delivery segment has picked up the pace. Startups like Instacart have gained momentum in recent months.

You can also think of launching a grocery marketplace app for your city or region. You would be able to build a decent grocery delivery app within a range of $3,000-$10,000 depending on the features. Here is everything we know about grocery app development:

Read More

TaskRabbit-like App Development Cost

People are busy more than ever and they need a handyman to hire for menial tasks. It can be to pick up groceries, get office supplies or booking a ticket offline for a concert.

TaskRabbit has successfully catered to this demand and is growing rapidly too. You can also build a TaskRabbit like app within a range of $5,000-$30,000 and if you want to know more about how to build one, here is a valuable resource:

Read More

Handyman Service App
Handyman Service App Development Cost

A handyman app helps users find workers for tasks like plumbing, electrical faults or other service requests. Think of it like Uber, but for various handyman jobs.

Just like Taskrabbit, a handyman service app would save hundreds of hours each year for users and offer convenience. That's why the concept is getting popular.

You can think of building an app for handyman services within a budget of $5,000 - $25,000 and if you want to know more, you can always look for information about the segment in our dedicated blog for handyman service app development.

Read More

Diet and Nutrition App
Diet and Nutrition App Development Cost

People are serious about their fitness and lifestyle. And that's where you have another opportunity.

You can think of multiple business models that are based on a diet and nutrition app- personalized training, fitness plans, meal plans, meal tracking and other business opportunities.

An app for the fitness segment would cost you $5,000 - $15,000 approximately. If you want to know more, you can check out our blog on diet and nutrition app development.

Read More

On-demand Fuel Delivery App
On-demand Fuel Delivery App Development Cost

On-demand fuel delivery. No, we are not kidding when we talk about this idea. In fact, it is a booming segment with startups working globally to grab their slice in the pie.

We wrote an extensive piece on this segment and how one can build an app for on-demand fuel delivery. If you want to choose an offbeat path with ready market, this can be your chance.

Read More

Taxi App
Uber-like Taxi App Development Cost

We don't need to convince you on why Uber is an amazing business idea. You already know it. If you're thinking about walking on the same path, you can easily build an uber-like taxi app with a budget of approximately $16,000.

We've covered uber-like taxi app development in detail with specifics in our blog on Taxi app development.

Read More

Currency Converter App
Currency Converter App Development Cost

Now, this is a simple idea. Giving currency conversions in real-time. If packaged right, for example, build a niche product for tourists, or bundle it together in a financial offering this can lead to great user experience and growth.

Here is something we wrote about currency converter app development, its scope, cost and specifics. You would be able to build one for yourself within a range of $3,000-$10,000.

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