Setapp Turns One

3 min read

Not to say we made it yet, but here is a milestone: Setapp is officially a one-year-old, having launched the first public release on January 25, 2017.

It was a big year for us. Lots got done. But even more awaits ahead. We put a lot at risk by launching outside of the traditional App Store path and, truth be told, it was harder than we could ever expect.

Nevertheless, one year later we have 107 apps on the platform with over 300,000 users and $1.5M in ARR. And we are growing fast.

Setapp apps growth

Our first big thank you goes to app developers. Before releasing the beta a little over a year ago, we managed to persuade 40 top-notch independent app makers to believe in the potential of breaking down their one-off sales models into perpetual monthly payments. We came to them with sketches and ideas, but we were yet to have the product.

Setapp ARR growth

If it wasn’t for app developers, Setapp would have no foundation to stand upon. So we went into the offline world to meet everyone face to face. We attended developer meetups, WWDC, and partnered with awesome conferences like Release Notes, Úll, and AltConf to talk about our value. Media heavyweights TNW, 9to5Mac, Macworld, MacRumors, and many others jumped at the chance to help us spread our message. Since then, we’ve more than doubled our app list, adding over 50 new vendors, and have more exciting companies planning to join us, to be announced in the near future.

Secondly, our users. We couldn’t be more grateful to each person who gave Setapp a try, from the first day of beta to today, and more importantly tomorrow. In a year, Setapp caught the eyes of 25 million Mac owners, over 3 million of whom visited our website, with 300,000 trying the product, and over 15,500 becoming paid users.

Setapp users growth

What we realize now is that at the beginning of Setapp there was no market for a subscription platform with 100 apps for every task imaginable. We were not a niche product in the traditional sense and presenting our value required quite a bit of explanation. Which, ask any VC, is not ideal.

Scaling the product that is meant to be “for everyone” was an arduous task. But, nevertheless, with time and effort, trial and error, step by step, we got the value proposition right and started introducing people to Setapp by solving their specific problems, only to show them later that the same tool could solve 100 more. Talk about value added.

"Setapp is a great collection of useful apps! It's a great way to bootstrap your productivity. There are several apps that I use daily, but also specific apps that are great to have access to, when I really need them."
– Matt Behrens, Developer
“A curated app store that takes out the guesswork and tedium of sifting through scores of mediocre apps? Please and thank you! Setapp has cured a headache I didn’t know I had.”
– Zak Erving, Product Designer
“I’ve used Setapp since it first launched. It’s crazily good value and simply the best way to get great apps from indie developers. I love it!”
– Barry Sampson, Entrepreneur

There is at last the third aspect that immensely contributed to Setapp’s success — the global rise of the subscription model. Back at the idea stage, we had an intuition that subscriptions are going to take over our lives. Recurring revenue made sense for any developer, whereas breaking down the full price into monthly payments appealed to the ever greater amount of users. So, in some ways, we were lucky to catch the trendsetting subscription wave we are still riding, as more and more companies announce their switch away from the traditional pricing models.

Entering our second year with wide strides, we feel confident in our path and vision of giving users all the tools they need to solve any task at hand. We have more world-class apps ready to join us, more collaborations in the works, and even more value to provide, not only for individuals but for businesses as well.

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