Mobile App Development Agency: Which one should you choose for your startup projects?

November 23, 2020

A mobile app development agency team discussing a project.

If you have a mobile app project in mind and you do not know what to do, the first thing to consider is to choose a reliable mobile app development agency to help carry out your plans. The problem, however, is there are too many companies to choose from. This makes a seemingly simple task quite complicated.

A mobile app development agency provides services essential for building software apps intended for mobile devices. Developing mobile apps is not something that anybody can do. It is a specialized job that requires more than basic knowledge on coding and programming, among other developer skills. As such, working with the right mobile app development team is vital to the success of every startup project.

Different Types of Mobile App Development Agencies

As mentioned above, there are too many mobile app development agencies serving the startup community. Thus, choosing the ideal one is a challenge, but only if you do not know what to look for and what you need.

There are three types of mobile app development agencies to choose from: freelance, small companies, and established or big IT enterprises. The mobile app development agency you need can be from any of these three categories, so it is important for you to know what each can offer.

  • A freelance mobile app developer is a self-employed individual who works with several clients at the same time. Most freelancers do not tie up with an employer long-term; they often work with a client on a short-term, per-project basis.
  • A small mobile app development agency, on the other hand, is composed of more or less five to 50 individuals with specific skill sets that get into play when they work on a project. For example, a typical small agency has at least five app developers, programmers, & designers, 1-2 project managers, and 1-2 QA specialists.   
  • Established or large IT companies have more than 50 employees and several teams. These teams are multi-level and have various specialties.

Which One is Best for Your Startup?

So, which one has the appropriate setup for your startup projects? The best way to answer this question is to know the aspects of carrying out each project and determine what each type has to offer.

These are some of the aspects to consider:


How much money can you afford to spend for every (or even for just one) project? If your total budget is $5,000, it is not enough for a large IT company. Your best bet would be to hire a freelancer or a small agency. Your budget matters because mobile app development agencies work with a budget, too. Agencies work with several individuals; with teams. These specialists work together and with you – from the planning phase all the way to the deployment stage.

If you have a budget of less than $1,000, you’ll probably be better off hiring a freelancer. Most freelancers are capable of completing a mobile app project for a little over $543. Remember, though, that even if it’s possible to hire an individual freelancer, you’ll not be assured to have a quality mobile app as compared to engaging a small or large development company.

Project Timeline

If you have a tight project timeline, the ideal choice would be small or large agencies. Their teams are already in place, so you don’t have to go around looking for different freelancers to complete a team. For small and large agencies, the minute the contract is sealed they’ll start working on your project. So, no time is lost.

Working with freelancers mean you’ll have to wait until your team is complete. Likewise, keep in mind that freelancers work with different clients all at the same time. Yours is not the only project they spend time on. As a result, you may have to adjust your timeline. This is definitely not the most practical thing to do.

Permanence or Long-Term Goals

Working with freelancers means you’ll have to hire and create a new team every time you have a project or if your app needs some update. You can always hire back the freelance team that built your app, but since they work with multiple clients, you’ll not be a priority.

Choosing a small mobile app development agency or an established IT company is more ideal if your goal is permanence or if you have long-term goals for your projects. The teams work together permanently, so they’re available anytime you need them. Just remember that smaller agencies are for budgeted projects.

Other Vital Aspects to Consider


Freelancers are ideal if the app you’re creating is simple and does not include complex processes. However, you’ll still need to form a team of freelancers to ensure that your project is completed effectively and efficiently.

If you prefer to take this route, you’ll find a lot of highly skilled and experienced freelancers in various online and offline sources: via Google search, LinkedIn, freelance marketplaces, design communities, and references from schools, colleges, & universities.

Small Mobile App Development Agency

Even if it’s not as big as an established IT organization, a small mobile app development agency is capable of delivering high quality products and services. You’ll work with a team equipped with world-class skills and specialties ideal for your startup.

Small agencies may not have the most number of developers, they’re just as reliable as their larger counterparts. They’re also suitable if your startup is looking to build an MVP (minimum viable product).

Large Development Companies

Large IT agencies are brands that have been around for years. They have the experience and expertise startup projects need. These agencies also offer the best guarantee, although at a high cost. Your $20,000 budget would not be enough.

If you are planning to build a multi-scaled, highly complex app; hire a large mobile app development agency. Their teams are trained to manage complex projects.

To Sum Up Everything

Choosing the ideal mobile app development agency for your startup depends on the scope of your project. You should also incorporate vital factors such as budget, timeframe, experience, expertise, and long-term goals.

Freelancers are more affordable but they do not work with just one employer. These independent developers are ideal for simple, short-term projects.

Small mobile app development agencies are ideal if you want to create an MVP first. They have dedicated teams with different expertise. Although they’re not as diverse and wide as larger IT companies, they can do the job well – sometimes even exceeding.

Large dev companies are brands that have been around for years. They already have an established reputation in the industry. They’re the most expensive of the three types.

About the author: Baptiste Leroux - CEO

After several years in the corporate world, I create my first Web startup as a social enterprise. Working with talented people, excellent software development skills, good communication, and a competitive pricing, we shifted our focus to web & mobile outsourcing projects. View on Linkedin