How Much Does it Cost to Create an App like Clubhouse?

Since the end of 2020, the whole world has learned about the start-up application “Clubhouse: Drop-in audio chat”. The news that the app has raised over $ 100 million in investment piqued our curiosity about the true development cost of this project.

To do this, we estimated the cost and terms of application development as if a client approached us with the question “How much does it cost to develop an application like Clubhouse?”

What exactly did we estimate?

The way the app was in March 2021 was accepted as the final result of the development. Version 0.1.31 was available in the App Store at that time, so our estimation shows the cost and terms of development for this version.

The estimate does not include the costs of promotion and PR (this can be a large part of the budget). Therefore, it will not be correct to subtract the development cost from the amount of attracted investments and consider the resulting number as a startup’s net profit.

It is important to note that our estimation does not show how much the creators actually spent on development. We had to make hypotheses about how everything works “under the hood” of the application in order to create the application as similar as possible at the time of its evaluation.

What was done to conduct the estimation?

  1. Created the Navigation Map
  2. Created the Work Breakdown Structure of the whole project
  3. Studied user reviews in the App Store to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the application
"Clubhouse: Drop-in audio chat" Navigation Map

What we know for sure about the application:

  • How the current design looks like
  • What scenarios for custom actions can be
  • The app is currently only available on iOS devices
  • $112 million in investments raised by a startup

What we DON’T know for sure about the app:

  • What technologies were used by the developers
  • What the admin panel looks like and what it does
  • Roadmap or planned capabilities
  • The bandwidth of channels (rooms)

What technologies would we use to create the Clubhouse

  1. React Native
  2. Node.js
  3. MySQL
  4. WebSocket connection
  5. Mediasoup service
  6. Jenkins
  7. AWS services (EB/EC2, RDS, S3, SES, SQS, etc)
  8. Docker + Docker Compose
  9. Firebase push notifications

We registered the results of the estimation in the PDF file. You can find it after filling the form below:

The estimate is for demonstration purposes, it shows the costs if the application were developed by the OSSystem team.

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