30 In-Demand Mobile App Startups (2021)

by Josh Howarth - July 8, 2021

Countless mobile apps are used by millions of people each day.

In fact, according to TechCrunch, 218B mobile apps were downloaded in 2020 on the App Store alone.

That’s an increase of 154.94% on 2016’s figures.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder we’re seeing a seemingly endless conveyor belt of startup app companies.

As such, we’ve picked out 30 of the most in-demand startups currently making waves in the mobile app space.

1. tapcart

tapcart-inc-min.png

5-year search growth: 25%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Santa Monica, California

Funding: $65.1M (Series B)

What they do: Tapcart is designed to help eCommerce retailers launch and manage their brand’s mobile apps. A drag-and-drop app builder facilitates design without code. Described as “Shopify for mobile apps”, Tapcart has seen over $1.2B worth of merchant sales to date.

2. givingli

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5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Los Angeles, California

Funding: $4M (seed round)

What they do: Givingli is a digital greetings card platform designed to facilitate “human connection”. Each greeting card is customizable and gifts can be attached. Over 5M people have used Givingli’s service since its launch in 2019.

3. dukaan

dukaan-min.png

5-year search growth: 2000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Bangalore, India

Funding: $6M (seed round)

What they do: Dukaan is an online store creation (and management) app. The platform offers customization options, custom domains, and additional plugins to specific to ecommerce brands. Dukaan currently covers over 200 different categories of business.

4. amber group

amber-group-min.png

5-year search growth: 70%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Hong Kong

Funding: 128M (Series B)

What they do: Amber Group is a cryptocurrency fintech startup that was recently valued at $1B. The startup launched its mobile app in Q3 2020 and has since amassed over 100,000 signups. The firm has accumulated upwards of 700 institutional customers, consisting mainly of hedge funds.

5. teachmint

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5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: Bengaluru, India

Funding: $20M (Series A)

What they do: Teachmint is an online learning platform built to connect tutors and students. Teachers create a “classroom” and invite students to join remotely by sharing the classroom ID. The mobile app startup saw 1M downloads within eight months of launch.

6. getir

getir-min.png

5-year search growth: 535%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Funding: $1B (Series D)

What they do: Getir is a grocery delivery service offering a real-time inventory for shoppers. The company delivers over 1,500 products per day ordered through their app. Deliveries are made day or night and the service is currently available across Turkey, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris.

7. moneemint

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5-year search growth: 4700%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: 845.4K (pre-seed)

What they do: MoneeMint is a fintech app providing responsible banking options especially designed for smartphone use. The startup is still in its infancy and is yet to fully launch its services. In the meantime, prospective customers can join a waiting list for updates.

8. mfast

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5-year search growth: 78%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Funding: $1.5M (Seed round)

What they do: MFast is a fintech app where users can earn direct and indirect commissions via their affiliate program. The app has over 20 financial products and utilities available to invest in and offers withdrawal in 15 minutes. According to MFast, the company has amassed over 600,000 users.

9. bodyguard

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5-year search growth: 1328%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Nice, France

Funding: Unknown (seed round)

What they do: Bodyguard is a “positive engagement” app designed to filter out “toxic” content on social media. The software uses AI to moderate in real-time and offers customization options for its users. Bodyguard is used by over 50,000 Europeans and has recently expanded to the US market.

10. swapi

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5-year search growth: 1400%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2020

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $551.3K (seed round)

What they do: Swapi is a loyalty point-trading mobile trading platform. Users can trade accumulated rewards instantly with other users via the Swapi application. These trades can be cross-brands to allow users to maximize their loyalty points. Demos are currently available for request.

11. jogo

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5-year search growth: 66%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: Amstelveen, the Netherlands

Funding: €1.9M (seed round)

What they do: JOGO is a sports data startup designed to help soccer players track, analyze and develop their skills. An in-sole tracker sends information to a free-to-use app providing performance-related insight. The startup has so far amassed over 1,000 downloads on the Play Store.

12. powder

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5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Paris, France

Funding: $17.2M (Series A)

What they do: Powder is a video-sharing startup facilitating the recording and editing of video game footage. Users can record gameplay directly to the Powder app from their console, PC, or mobile. Editing is also possible in-app before distribution to various social media accounts. The startup has over 60,000 followers on Instagram.

13. agora

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5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: £5M (seed round)

What they do: Agora is a video-based beauty marketplace app. Users can use the platform to sell beauty products via 15 to 180-second videos. The app uses hashtags to help categorize products. The startup currently has over 50,000 registered users.

14. bigbrain

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5-year search growth: 55%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Funding: $4.5M (seed round)

What they do: BigBrain is a quiz app. Users compete live in quiz topics of their choice with leaderboards ranking their performance. There are over 2,000 topics to choose from and new contests start every 15 minutes. BigBrain has been funded by four investors as part of their seed funding round.

15. relate

relate-app-min.png

5-year search growth: 191%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Funding: $1.6M (seed round)

What they do: Relate is a relationship support platform providing its users with counseling services. Its app has a wealth of resources to help its users tackle relationship troubles and conflicts. Relate has partnered with a relationship communications app Paired.

16. bare

bare-app-min.png

5-year search growth: 426%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $100K (preseed)

What they do: Bare is a dating app for the “open-minded”. The app allows users to choose how much they reveal about themselves and has a screening process to eliminate fake profiles. Over 1,000 downloads on the Play Store but has yet to officially launch.

17. jigsaw

jigsaw-app-min.png

5-year search growth: 68%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

Funding: $5M (seed round)

What they do: Jigsaw is a personality-first dating app that partially hides profile pictures with jigsaw pieces. The app is intended to promote conversation which in turn slowly removes jigsaw pieces, revealing faces. Currently, Jigsaw has been downloaded by over 50,000 people on the Play Store.

18. fygo

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5-year search growth: 261%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $150K (pre-seed)

What they do: Fygo is a finance app targeted at students. Instant and automatic cashback is available through the app when certain purchases are made. Fygo links directly to your bank to provide direct payment. The startup claims to have reached over 40,000 students.

19. mobietrain

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5-year search growth: 4200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Genk, Belgium

Funding: $8M (Series A)

What they do: MobieTrain is a business-orientated “microlearning” app for employees. The mobile app offers short training content designed to be more engaging than traditional methods. Custom learning tracks can be created in-app. MobieTrain claims to have upwards of 80,000 users across 30 countries.

20. yappli

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Funding: ¥4.1B (Series C)

What they do: Yappli is a software as a service (SaaS) startup providing mobile app-building infrastructure via their own app. The platform allows users to create, manage, and apps without coding expertise. Yappli currently has 10 investors.

21. buzzer

buzzer-app-min.png

5-year search growth: 345%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: New York City, New York

Funding: $24M (Series A)

What they do: Buzzer is a customizable live sports notification app. The mobile application provides short-form sports content with real-time notifications to deliver news as it breaks. So far, Buzzer has been backed by nine investors, including former basketball player Michael Jordan.

22. blox

blox-app-min.png

5-year search growth: 328%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2021

Location: Mumbai, India

Funding: $2M (First Round)

What they do: Blox is a real estate purchasing platform. The startup claims to offer users the ability to “buy a home in less than 10 clicks”. The house-buying app is backed by Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen.

23. apna

apna-app-min.png

5-year search growth: 809%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: Mumbai, India

Funding: $93.5M (Series B)

What they do: Apna is a professional networking and jobs platform based in India. Users can schedule phone interviews and call employers via the app. In its first year, Apna amassed over 1.2M users.

24. wisesight

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Jerusalem, Israel

Funding: $2.6M (Seed Round)

What they do: WiseSight is app-based parking management solution. The app provides real-time information, statistics, and analysis to assist parking management. The company’s services are targeted at smart cities and the private parking sector.

25. fairmoney

fairmoney-min.png

5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Funding: $54.4M (Series B)

What they do: FairMoney is an app-based Nigerian bank. The startup provides loans of up to ₦500,000 without paperwork. As of 2020, FairMoney had over 1.3M users making over 6.5M loan applications.

26. cityflo

cityflo-min.png

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Mumbai, India

Funding: $8.5M (Series A)

What they do: Cityflo is an urban transportation app providing economical bus travel. The app provides booking, rescheduling, and live tracking features. According to Cityflo, 8,000 people have switched from car use to buses using their app.

27. copper

copper-banking-min.png

5-year search growth: 128%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Seattle, Washington

Funding: $4.3M (Seed Round)

What they do: Copper is app-based banking platform built for teenagers. The banking app has an accompanying debit card which can be bought online or in-store. Features such as automated allowance are designed especially for a younger demographic. According to Copper, over 300,000 members use the app.

28. collegia

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5-year search growth: -20%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Funding: $750K (Seed Round)

What they do: Collegia is an app-based auto-enrolment pension provider. The app can manage multiple pension schemes and provides a 25% government bonus on your investments. Collegia officially launched its mobile app in June 2021.

29. puppod

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Seattle, Washington

Funding: $1.2M (Seed Round)

What they do: PupPod is an app-powered interactive dog game. The game enables users to engage with their pets remotely using their smartphones and a video feeder device. PupPod currently retails on Amazon for $199.00.

30. elves

elves-app-min.png

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Funding: $4M (Seed Round)

What they do: Elves is an app-based concierge service. Users can use the app’s chat features to help book flights, get recommendations, and reserve restaurants on their travels. As of November 2019, the app reportedly had over 650,000 users.

conclusion

That concludes our list of mobile app startups to monitor closely in 2021.

There may be a wide variety of niches covered, but all these apps are doing something a little bit different.

None of our inclusions try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, there is a focus on refining and improving. As part of this, AI features prominently in many of these startups. Which is likely to increase in prevalence over the next few years.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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