How much does it cost to make a dating app?

How much does it cost to make a dating app?

The largest dating apps are valued at a billion dollars, but a quick google search will find promises of equally good apps for less than $10. How can anyone make a good choice when the range of options is so vast?


How much it’s going to cost to bring your app idea to life is not as simple as you’d expect. It’s a question we get asked a lot, so I’ve written this little guide to help. It’s also a good opportunity to show where M14 Industries fits in.

The simplest answer is that it depends on how much you have, and what your goals are. Your main costs will be paying developers and marketing, and how much you do of each is up to you.

Here’s some example budgets:

£2,000,000 +

You’ve gotten funding (congrats!). With this much money behind you you’ll have a small in-house development team and the bulk of your money will be spent on marketing. The heart of your business is PR and acquiring new users.  You expect to become a mainstream dating app within a year.

Development: in-house

£200,000

This is a typical early investment amount. A large part of your money will be spent on technology (a high quality dating app will cost between £100k and £300k in development alone), and your marketing efforts will be a lot more experimental. You need to find the lowest cost/untapped marketing options. You either need to get profitable (and quick!), or grow your company with the assumption you will raise more money if you can prove you’re on to a winning business.

Development: in-house, some outsourcing

£20,000

With M14 Industries

Our standard package is only a small part of your budget, and with it you get branded apps, all the key features, a landing page, security, updates. Plus, you can set aside some budget for custom and bespoke features.

With careful planning you can have an app that you love, and a marketing budget to make an impact and get the ball rolling.

On your own

You will need to find a very friendly freelance developer or outsource your development if you want to get even a basic app built for this price. Your app will be limited, likely buggy, and you won’t get any ongoing updates. But, you’ll be able to prove if your idea has legs. You should keep at least half the budget aside for marketing.

We’ve yet to see people happy with the results of outsourcing an app’s development to an agency when their budget is this low.

Development: outsourced, freelancers

£2,000

With M14 Industries

Our standard package gives you an app with all the features you need, hosting, updates, and we make the app fit with your branding. You get a small budget for marketing, and help as needed.

On your own

You’re relying on self-service app builders when your budget is this low. You can maybe run a few marketing experiments, but your best hope is to target a specific group or niche where word of mouth is powerful. Your app won’t make too many waves, but might solve a specific problem. Your flexibility on features will be almost none, and good luck with security, scale, and on going updates.

Development: self-service websites

£200

Unless this is your coffee budget and you are an app developer yourself, you’re better off keeping your money.

If you really need to scratch that entrepreneurial itch, use this money to get yourself a really nice looking website, set up a mailing list, and see if you can convince people your idea is good enough for them to sign up. Only if you can get lots of people to sign up, you’re on to a winner. And then it’s time to find some more cash!

Development: none

What do you get with M14 Industries?

As mentioned above, we give you a decent looking dating or social app, custom features, customer support, and (importantly) ongoing updates which can include new features, security improvements, and technology enhancements.

We take care of data compliance, payment gateways, VAT, all that fun stuff. And an app which would normally cost hundreds of thousands to build, we can provide for a hundred times less by using our platform.

We’re the smartest way to build and manage your app, short of doing it all yourself.


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