How Much Does Cleo like AI App Development Cost?

Sudeep Srivastava May 31, 2022
Cleo like AI App Development Cost

Among many differences that lie between millennials and Generation X, the major one is the art of saving.

When it comes to saving money, millennials often find themselves in a tough spot. They go through many problems like high levels of student debt, rising costs of living, and stagnant wages. This can make it difficult to save money and put it into savings. However, there are a number of AI saving apps/budgeting apps that can help millennials get their finances on track.

Some of these apps use artificial intelligence (AI) to help manage their money more effectively. AI budgeting apps can analyze a user’s spending patterns and offer personalized recommendations on how to save money. They can also provide real-time alerts when a user is approaching their spending limit or making a potentially costly financial decision.

AI money management apps are already in their developing stage, this means there is a lot of market and fewer options for the millennials to work around. Also, it can be a profitable solution for Fintech enthused entrepreneurs. 

A brand that has not just identified this opportunity but is also ruling the phones of millennial user base through its quirky voice is Cleo money app, which is setting the use cases for creating a fintech app with AI. 

In this article, we are going to look at the Cleo AI budgeting app in detail from the perspective of how much does Cleo like AI app development cost.

About Cleo App

Cleo is an AI money management app that acts as a sassy Siri for your budgeting and financing needs. The Cleo AI savings app makes a budget for you, helps in building your savings, and talks to you about financial life and spending habits. It also comes with a wallet account, which helps in saving funds and gives users some sort of an overdraft protection. 

Till date, more than 4 million users have joined the application and this number is still growing. With Cleo AI finance app, users feel comfortable to interact with a sassy friend who can keep them in line when it comes to spending more than they can afford.

State of U.S. Finance App Market

As per the report by Million Insights, the global finance app market was valued at USD 896.7 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.1% from 2021 to 2028. The credit goes to the rising demand for budget management apps in the Asia Pacific region.

State of U.S. Finance App Market

When we look at the Fintech industry trends as a whole, we can find that the subset of budgeting apps is still very small, as you can see in the image above. While presently not in abundance, the market players of the digital finance system are bound to grow by leaps and bounds.
As the AI budgeting app market is preparing for its mass popularity, Cleo AI is already sitting on top of the digital budgeting sector. – a statement that can be validated from the fundings and partnerships it is receiving.

Cleo App – Fundings and Partnerships

The one thing that is motivating entrepreneurs to look in the direction of combining AI in Fintech and look for the answer to what is the cost of AI development apps like Cleo, is the scope of business expansions and partnerships.

  • Cleo has raised $44 million in Series B funding led by EQT Ventures with support from existing investors Balderton Capital Local Globe and SBI. This new funding will help  Cleo expand its AI-driven services to new markets, as well as double down on its U.S presence with plans to build executive and product teams in San Francisco.
  • Button partnered with Cleo to enable its users to seamlessly shop and get rewards from the big brands, powered by Button’s technology. Cleo users can now access the Daily Savings Feature in Cleo+  for shopping and earning cashback from the Button Brands.

Between the established market space and the news occurrence, the Cleo budgeting app has become one of the standard Fintech applications that entrepreneurs are willing to clone, something for which they are willing to pay a good sum of money. On that point, here is the first factor that carries an impact on the Cleo like AI app development cost. 

Must-Have Cleo Like App Features 

Features set are the key to developing effective personal finance apps. The same stands true for AI-based fintech applications too. As the general formula goes, the more the features, the higher would be the price range. In our case, the more the feature set, the higher would be the cost of AI app development.

Cleo is a one-version Fintech assistant application that majorly operates around two sub sections: A. Basic B. Advanced


app features

Here are the main features present in both the versions, individually. 

Free/Basic Version

Track Spending

The most basic feature of Cleo AI app is the ability to track spendings. Once you link the bank account to the app, you’ll be able to view the account balance, spending category, etc.

You can also ask the app questions, like:

  • How much do I spend on a specific item? (Such as food, rent, etc.)
  • What is my biggest expense?
  • How am I doing on budget?
  • Show my upcoming bills. 

Create Budget 

The app makes it very easy to set budgets according to different categories and track them throughout the month. 

The users can either create their own budget or rely on AI recommendations for setting the limits. The app then monitors purchases and notifies when the budget limit is approaching. 

Predict Savings Amount

The application doesn’t just track your spendings, upon detailed analysis it also tells the users when it’s time to save some money for rainy days. 

Advanced Version

Cleo Cover

Cleo Cover is an overdraft available to Plus members. The feature allows you to borrow $100 from the app. Cleo does not charge an interest on the loan, and gives users 3 to 28 days to pay back the loan.

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Daily Cash

Daily Cash gives users instant cashback on their spendings in the Cleo wallet. The users choose ‘Money Makers’ on the basis of the stores that they shop at most and get cashback when they spend money at those Money Makers.

The next element after the feature set that answers what is AI development cost of budgeting apps like Cleo is the design element of the Cleo clone app.

A Design System That Guarantees your Cleo Like App’s Success

What is enticing about Cleo-like AI money management app is not the core service set rather its the seamless user experience that they offer to their users. At the core, these are chatbot applications – meaning the user interface focus should majorly be on the conversational innovation. 

Noting how the user base of such budgeting and assistantbased apps is millennials, the focus will have to be on conversational design. A thing to note here is that on paper, the design cost of an AI app like Cleo will be somewhat more expensive than your non-conversational design elements.

budgeting app screens

When we were designing Mudra, an app similar to Cleo in context, there were some key things that we considered in the UI and UX development of the application. 

Tone of the bot

The tone that you set for your assistant will play a major role in its success. In the case of Cleo, a sassy tone was used which roasts millennials – something that gives users viral content. In our case, we went with a subtle but funny personality, which users could see as an advisor and not a friend. 

Multiple content 

It is important to note that people don’t like interacting with any specific content type. Meaning, that they would sometimes need explanations in words and sometimes a snarky comment in the face of memes. Noting that, we integrated multiple content types in the application – video, images, quiz-like, and textual. 

Keep users on track

When designing interactive applications for humans, it is important to note that we are designing for humans. Meaning, apart from conversation(y) content, we will also have to prepare the AI system or human representative for the time when the users get off track. Mudra was designed in a way that both human and AI systems were included in it. This made it possible to keep the users on the agenda when needed and engaged when needed. 

Set reminder

In addition, to push notifications, it is also important to remind users of the activity they have to perform or which is pending on their end.

Conversation window-like UI

When finalizing the UI design of your Cleo AI personal finance assistant, the most important thing that you will have to note is that it has to be made like a chat-based application compared to one that gives advice and insights to the users. 

How Much Does It Cost To Build An AI-Based Mobile Application Like Cleo

The estimation of AI app development cost app like Cleo comes down to three main factors, which within themselves include the cost of implementing AI. 

  • The number of features that you are adding in the application.
  • The number of platforms you want the application working on.
  • The geographical location of your partnered Fintech app development company.

Number of features, the first factor, along with the technology stack is what separates a $10,000 application from a $100,000 mobile app. This difference is what mobile app complexity is known as. These separations play a massive role in deciding the sub-elements when answering how to build budgeting apps like Cleo. 

  • Light complexity – User registration, fetching account details, social media integration, search, and settings.
  • Medium complexity – The light version features + an interactive chatbot, notifications, track spending, and budget creation.
  • Heavy complexity – The above-mentioned features + ability to search for friends, multi-media chat, and savings estimation.

The second factor that affects the app development cost of an AI-based app like Cleo is the number of platforms the app would function on.

Going by the general rule of thumb, the cost of AI development apps would rise as you move from one platform, say Android or iOS to both Android and iOS. It will keep on rising as you add more platforms to the mix.

The third factor is the geographical location of your partnered mobile app development.

The average per hour mobile app development cost varies from East to West. While in the western nation like the USA or Australia, the average hourly rate would vary from $80 to $200, in Eastern nations like India, the cost would be somewhere around $25 to $80.

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Besides these three, the Cleo like AI app development cost also depends on how you design an AI-powered chatbot. If you go by the design system we mentioned above, the mobile app design cost will fall in moderate to high level. 

So, while calculating the cost of developing Cleo like app is never an exact science. Of course, the actual cost will vary depending on the specific features and functionality you want to include in your app. But as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay $25000 to 200,000+. However this is a rough estimate and the actual cost could be more or less depending on the factors mentioned above.

How Does Cleo App Makes Money

One of the most common follow-up questions about how to create apps with artificial intelligence is how to make money with them, especially when the invested cost is already very high. 

Cleo app makes money mainly from Cleo Plus – its advanced version. 

For $5.99 a month, they give users a number of features like Cleo Cover, Daily Cash, and Interest Checking account. 

While the monetization model is indeed best suited for to build fintech apps, there are other approaches as well that you can follow, as mentioned below


This is the most common monetization option for apps. Ads can be displayed in the form of banner ads, interstitial ads, or video ads. You can run relevant ads on the app and charge advertisers on a CPC or CPM basis.

In-app purchases

This is another common option, particularly for budgeting and investment apps. You can offer users premium features that they can purchase within the app. This can be done on a one-time basis or as a subscription.

Transaction fees

If your fintech app handles payments, you can charge a small transaction fee on each transaction. This is a common practice and helps to generate revenue while also keeping the app free for users.

Subscription services

You can also offer a subscription-based service, which gives users access to premium features and content. This is a good option if you have an app with regularly updated content.

Now that you know about the monetization model for fintech apps, you can start planning your app development process, which will require a development team and tech stack. 

Development team is a a team of skilled professionals who are experts in AI, machine learning, and related programming languages. You will also need a project manager to keep the development process on track and within a budget.

Furthermore, the tech stack used to create AI-based apps includes:

  • Programming languages like Python, React Native, Flutter, Kotlin, Java, PHP, and more.
  • Cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.
  • Database solutions like  MongoDB, Cassandra, and MySQL.
  • Machine learning frameworks like TensorFlow, Keras, PyTorch, and more.
  • Integrated development environments (IDEs) like PyCharm, Android Studio, Visual Studio Code, and more.

Moreover, hiring a development company that specializes in AI can help you get your app developed quickly and efficiently. Such companies have the right resources and expertise to get the job done right.

When looking for an AI development company, be sure to check their portfolio and read reviews from past clients. This will give you an idea of their capability and whether they are a good fit for your project.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help finding the right AI development company for your project. We would be happy to assist you.

Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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