How to monetize Augmented Reality apps and startups

How to monetize Augmented Reality apps and startups

By Alex

Monetizing Augmented Reality apps can be a big challenge. Previously our team has worked for a number of AR startups and products, and now we’ve decided it’s time we shared our own experience and recommendations on how you can monetize your AR apps. Please note that some of our recommendations might not work for you, but some of the information below will certainly come in handy.

First off, it goes without saying that everything depends on the type of app and specific situation but here is the general things that might help to you monetize your app regardless of its unique features.


We think that Augmented and Mixed Reality apps and e-commerce features are the best friends. A good case in point here could be furniture AR apps that allow to discover different (tables, chairs, etc.) products in AR / MR experiences and immediately purchase them in just one click. In addition, you can take a look at the guys from wanna by. Recently, they have launched a new WANNA KICKS app that allows users to discover trendy sneakers through AR experience and purchase them on official or affiliate websites.

The business model here can be the classic affiliate program where you can keep your commission from transactions (sales). If you have your own products to sell you can open a new revenue channel by selling them through AR and e-commerce experiences.

Freemium model

This is the most classic business model to monetize any apps or products, and you can apply it to your AR products too. Freemium model allows users to discover some features of the app for free, but in order to unlock some premium features or content they have to pay a one time fee or purchase the subscription. Before integrating this model, think about the next points:

  • Are you sure that your premium features resolve some user problems?
  • Are these premium features working well and good enough for users to pay for them?
  • Find the right balance between free and paid features
  • Select the payment method that you would like to integrate: whether it is gonna be credit cars, Google Pay, Apple In-App Purchase, etc.
  • Measure, measure, measure ?

White Label / SAAS

Lots of startups and companies are beginning to generate their first revenue by providing service of creation AR white label apps based on their existing ones. Despite a good profit this model brings lots of problems, such as:

  • You probably need to have a sales department that will work with customers, which implies paying more salaries
  • Some customers require customization and own unique features. As a result, development of white label apps can take a very long time
  • Probably you will focus on outsourcing instead of creation and improving own product / startup
  • Also keep in mind that Investors don’t like this model

From our perspective, WL model serves as a good starting point in order to have some initial revenue stream, however you have to find other ways of monetizing your apps asap and switch to another model that you can scale well.


Sure we didn’t describe all types of business models and maybe you have to find your own way how to monetize your AR / MR products and projects. Here are key points we would like to leave you with: please don’t mix all models into 1 app, make sure that your product is good enough, feel free to experiment and make lots of testing. Good luck!

Don’t forget to submit your AR / MR apps, lenses and projects to Catchar directory. Asa consequence, your products and projects are likely to receive more traffic, downloads and potential users who will purchase your premium features. Submission and contribution of Augmented and Mixed Reality projects to Catchar is free. Use this link to start submission.