Costs to develop an app like Uber?

Uber has been highly successful and its business model has pushed several entrepreneurs to develop an app that is similar, so that it benefits their business. When you understand the type of apps that are similar to the ‘Uber for X’ type of apps, you would be curious to know what it takes to build an app that is similar. Before getting into the details, let us discuss about the different aspects involved in on-demand apps. However, you might not require all the aspects that are a part of on-demand apps. You might not need some of the features of Uber but you might need additional features as a part of your app, based on how different your business is when compared to Uber.

There are several apps that are already developed in the same lines of Uber. Hence, let us have a closer look at the aspects you need to consider while developing your app.

How similar is your business model to that of Uber?

Several businesses are describing themselves using the Uber for X model and are following a similar approach to eliminate the inefficiency in their processes and achieve better results. This model can be treated as an on-demand service model where services or products are requested and it is serviced either online or offline. However, there are several aspects that vary in their offerings and implementations but the model is similar to that of Uber for X.

To develop an app like Uber, we need to consider the following factors:

  • That the supply is not bound to the platform closely and is used only to aggregate the supply of services.
  • Demands by users are not for sometime later and are required for an instant action.
  • User does not get to choose the service provider in the on-demand model and the easily available one is allocated.
  • There are no much options available and it all works according to a pre-decided procedure.

You can also have a closer look at the case of Venturebeat, which is an on-demand provider, so that you have a better understanding about the factors that need to be worked upon.

If you wish to know more about how the on-demand business model works, you can download the e-book regarding the on-demand business model.


Which business vertical do you wish to target with your app?

Irrespective of whether it is a transportation company or any other service, the apps might vary from Uber. But in this example, we are considering the case of Uber and hence, we will look into the details of an app related to transportation.

For an app to have similar functionalities like that of Uber, the best option would be to consider companies that provide Software as a Service, or SaaS for your app.

There is already an app called TaxiHawk in place that provides similar services to over 25 businesses worldwide.

However, if you are looking to build an app for a specific business model, you might have to get down to the details and the approach might change.

To address this issue, the best solution would be to follow a top-down approach. You would have to consider the app to have several modules such as matching, tracking, scheduling, payment, notifications, review, signup etc. which form integral components of the app. Hence, there are generalized codes available for each module that are highly generic and can be used for nay on-demand business models. 

Once all the modules are shortlisted, you might have to make several custom changes to suit to the requirement of your app.


How do on-demand apps evolve?

There is an evolution model that needs to be followed when you plan to develop an app that is similar to Uber. You would have to take into consideration four crucial aspects before developing an app: Discovery, validation, efficiency and scale. 

All the parameters pertaining to these aspects must be taken into consideration before you plan the evolution of your app.

Apps of this type have to go under several stages and only when it passes these stages, it can be scaled based on the need.


So finally, what would be the cost incurred to build an on-demand app?

By now, you would be having a clear idea about the factors that are considered while developing an app like Uber and the costs pertaining to each factor.

For an app that focuses on a single region and should have the capability to handle 500-1000 transactions daily, the development costs would range from $100 - $200k based on the platform and the business model.

This cost is incurred when you have to start the development of an app afresh in a developed country like the USA.

If you make use of pre-built tools and APIs like Swift for dispatching and a custom CMS for booking, the costs might come down by 40%. If you have an experienced team, the costs can range from anything from $40 - $80K.