February 5, 2024
12min read
Startup Ideas

Get Inspired: 20 Software Startup Ideas for Solopreneurs and Bootstrappers to Make $12,000+ MRR

Several solopreneurs and bootstrapped startups have opted to build software products and grow profitably to 5, 6, and 7-digit MRR! Here are 20 highly profitable and validated software startup ideas you can build within weeks and scale to $12,000 MRR within a year.

Table of contents

Technology is bliss to humankind.

The way we used to do things has changed — and partly because of that software is now used practically everywhere from sending emails to building houses (yes, actually).

The global software development market size was valued at 429.59 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11.7% from 2022 to 2030. This immense size of the software development market shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Software startups are all the rage these days.

But if you’re thinking you don’t have enough space to make it in the software industry. Think again.

We have curated this list of 20 software startup ideas that could get you started down the road to success.

Let’s dive in straightaway.

Micro SaaS Inspiration ox
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20 Best Software Startup Ideas - Well Researched, Highly Specific, Validated

1. Online Store Builder or Hyperlocal Markets 

Software startup ideas - online store builder
Online Store Builder

Background:

With the rise of e-commerce, people are increasingly launching their own online stores of clothing, jewellery, candles, art, and whatnot.

But setting up a store from scratch can be mentally and financially draining. 

The eCommerce industry is growing 23% year-over-year. Yet, 46% of American small businesses still don’t have a website.

But now, you don’t need a technical background, coding skills, or need not be design-oriented, with online store builders to your rescue.

The Idea:

  • Build software to ease up the process of building and setting up online stores or hyperlocal markets. You can also categorize the builder based on different industries.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: E-Commerce
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, Flat pricing
  • Revenue Potential: $2,000 - $9,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 6 - 8 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Dukaan, Volusion

2. All-In-One Analytics Platform

Software startup ideas - analytics platform
Analytics Platform

Background:

In the era of Big Data Processing And Distribution Systems, many businesses seek robust software solutions with AI/ML and data lake integration.

They need a powerful analytics platform to process huge amounts of data accurately, speedily, and easily.

The Idea:

  • Build an all-in-one analytics platform to unify all the data, analytics, and AI workloads – on the user’s preferred cloud.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Analytics
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, Freemium, Pay-as-you-go
  • Revenue Potential: $1,000 - $5,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 4 - 6 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Databricks, Qubole

3. Hiring Intelligence Platform 

Software startup ideas - hiring platform
Hiring Platform

Background:

Jobs are becoming highly competitive by the day. HRs look for an overall exemplary candidate and not just one who is good at his job. 

Analyzing a candidate’s CV isn’t enough. You need broad insights to make informed decisions and unlock your team’s best hiring capabilities.

As of 2020, 65% of HR organizations were already using AI for talent acquisition and by 2023, the number is expected to be 77%.

The Idea:

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: HR
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, Transactional
  • Revenue Potential: $800 - $3,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 2 - 4 weeks
  • Successful Examples: HiPeople, Manatal

4. Community Building Software 

Software startup ideas - community building software
Community Building Software

Background:

In the world of online business, our customers are widely dispersed across states and countries. 

The best way to bring them together is an online community that isn’t based on whether they know each other but brought together by common interests.

Organizing the customer base into a community can be worthwhile – from increased engagement with the brand to improved organic customer growth.

There’s a high chance of monetizing them if you've built a strong community.

The Idea:

  • Build a community-building software allowing the users to launch a community and a paid membership, or design their online courses with dedicated course communities, events, live streaming, and more.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Community & People
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, Flat-pricing
  • Revenue Potential: $2,000 - $10,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 4 - 6 weeks
  • Successful Examples: MightyNetworks, Thinkific

5. Rental Management Software 

Software startup ideas - rental management
Rental Management

Background:

The property management industry in America generates over $99 billion in revenue annually. 

The fact that so much money circulates through real estate rentals makes it no surprise that many software companies have emerged to help landlords and property managers keep track of everything.

Rather than manually monitoring tenant information, accounting and billing, maintenance, and posting vacancies, it’s now easier for property managers to oversee all operations and free up a considerable amount of their time.

The Idea:

  • Build a rental management software helping landlords and property managers streamline their rental process. Allowing them to get leads, screen tenants, create leases, and collect rent — all in one place.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Rental
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based
  • Revenue Potential: $500 - $5,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 6 - 8 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Hosthub, TurboTenant

6. Interactive Presentation Software 

Software startup ideas - interactive presentation
Interactive Presentation

Background:

Presentations can become reallyyy boring, whether in class or a business meeting. 

The time is far gone when traditional PowerPoint presentations were enough. People’s attention span has reduced drastically which calls for a different way to present.

41% of presenters find it challenging to find and use great visuals in their presentations.

An intelligent way to hook the audience is via interactive presentations which makes them feel involved and proves to be interesting. 

The Idea:

  • Build a software to design interactive presentations – involving hotspots, navigation, pop-up boxes, animations, polls, etc. – to grab the audience's attention and keep them engaged.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Design & Editing
  • Possible Business Model/s: Freemium, Subscription-based
  • Revenue Potential: $500 - $2,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 4 - 6 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Mentimeter, Prezi

7. Online Video Editor

Software startup ideas - online video editor
Online Video Editor

Background:

Video continues to be used by an overwhelming majority of businesses, with 86% businesses using video as a marketing tool.

To make the most out of your marketing strategy it’s important to design videos that attract prospects rather than shooing them away, as showcasing products in video form reduces a customer's hesitation in making a purchase.

And not only businesses, but the increasing number of online creators too demand good video editing software.

The global video editing software market size was valued at $1,952 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $3,245 million by 2030.

The Idea:

  • Build a diverse video editing software focused especially on businesses or creators with a library of customizable templates, transitions, and effects.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Editing
  • Possible Business Model/s: Freemium, Flat-pricing, Subscription-based
  • Revenue Potential: $800 - $5000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 8 - 10 weeks
  • Successful Examples: InVideo, Veed.io

8. All-In-One Event Management Platform 

Software startup ideas - event management
Event Management

Background:

Event management can be neck-breaking and energy-draining. In fact, event coordinator was regarded as the 5th most stressful job in the world, and for a fair reason. 

Vast communication demands, deadlines, physically draining, critics, and creativity make it quite stressful.

But, having the right event planning software under your belt can make a world of difference, helping you streamline your event to stay more productive and create the best experiences.

The Idea

  • Build an all-in-one event management platform for hybrid, online as well as offline events – that makes planning, producing, and reliving event experiences easier.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Event Management
  • Possible Business Model/s: Freemium, Subscription-based
  • Revenue Potential: $1,000 - $8,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 6 - 8 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Hopin, Eventzilla
Micro SaaS Inspiration Box
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9. Web3 App Builder Platform 

Software startup ideas - web3 app builder
Web3 App Builder

Background:

Web3 is ready to be the future of the internet, where users can interact in a decentralized way, securely.

51% of gen Z and 48% of millennials envision doing some of their work in the metaverse in the next two years. The craze for web3 can already be seen.

However, people with non-technical backgrounds hesitate to step into the world of dApps due to the underlying infrastructure required to build and run them.

Web3 app builders can be a good starting point for anyone who desires to build blockchain apps.

The Idea:

  • Build a software to assist users in building and setting up their web3 apps. Designing a no-code web3 app builder can be a game changer. 

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Web3
  • Possible Business Model/s: Flat-pricing
  • Revenue Potential: $500 - $2,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 6 - 8 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Thirdweb, Directual

10. VPN 

Software startup ideas - VPN
VPN

Background:

Using a VPN is essential if you want to keep your browsing habits under wraps and stay private online. 

It safeguards not just your browsing traffic but all the data that comes from your device and goes to the internet.

With increasing cyber thefts and crimes, protecting yourself by using a VPN has never been more important.

Currently, the VPN market of consumer and business VPNs combined is estimated to be worth at least $43 billion worldwide.

And, out of 5 billion internet users, there are over 1.2 billion (31% of all internet users) people who use VPNs.

The Idea:

Build a VPN software that is secure, high-speed, private, multi-platform, and easy to use. You can also include advanced features like encrypted email service and adblocker.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Internet
  • Possible Business Model/s: Freemium, Flat-pricing
  • Revenue Potential: $500 - $2,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 2 - 4 weeks
  • Successful Examples: ProtonVPN, ExpressVPN

11. Localization Platform 

Software startup ideas - localization platform
Localization Platform

Background:

As businesses are targeting international markets, their customer base is geographically dispersed. 

Geographical diversity across the globe leads to language barriers for businesses.

Translating business services to reach customers in other countries opens huge opportunities for expansion and growth and businesses are looking to leverage this chance. There are a few products out there, like Centus, that are reaping the profits off of this niche opportunity by providing accurate translating business services.

Although 52% of all websites are in English, it only reaches 25% of all internet users. Localization can help you reach more prospects and stay ahead of your competitors.

The Idea:

  • Build a platform enabling businesses to provide local experiences to their users by communicating with them in their local language – localizing web apps, mobile apps games, and documents.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Language
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, Flat-pricing
  • Revenue Potential: $5,000 - $10,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 4 - 6 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Lokalise, Smartling

12. Travel Management Platform

Software startup ideas - travel management
Travel Management

Background:

Business travel might make you imagine business-class flights, expensive corporate dinners, luxury hotel stays, and pleasant pastimes. But, the reality is much harsher and far from this tempting scenario.

For those who are on the road and for those who are behind the scenes, business trips can rather be arduous. 

Use of outdated practices and inefficient expenditure processing can eventually lead to the loss of valuable time and resources.

A phenomenal solution to these problems is travel management platforms, specifically designed for companies that organize frequent business trips.

The Idea:

  • Build travel management software for businesses to streamline their travel expenses and book and manage the trip via a central platform.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Travel
  • Possible Business Model/s: Pay-as-you-go, Subscription-based
  • Revenue Potential: $1,000 - $5,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 4 - 6 weeks
  • Successful Examples: TripActions, TravelPerk

13. Link-in-Bio Platform

Software startup ideas - link in bio platform
Link-in bio Platform

Background:

Whether be it Instagram, TikTok, or LinkedIn – you only get one link for your bio.

Swapping the link for every new campaign or product is a headache for creators and marketers.

Not anymore. Using link-in-bio tools helps you optimize and promote more than one link in just a click.

There are 31 million Instagram users with a link-in-bio tool and this number is only increasing as the creator economy is booming.

The Idea:

Build a link-in-bio tool to create and customize bio links – merging several links in just one link – and share it on various social platforms. 

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Social Media
  • Possible Business Model/s: Freemium, Subscription-based
  • Revenue Potential: $500 - $2,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 2 - 4 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Linktree, LinkFolio

14. Online Print-on-Demand Platform

Software startup ideas - printing platform
Printing Platform

Background:

With the increased e-commerce trend, people are considering launching their own clothing line or custom products that differentiate them.

But holding inventories and arranging logistics slows up the process and creativity.

Print-on-demand platforms are here for our rescue. It makes the first steps in e-commerce a lot simpler.

1 out of 5 customers is willing to pay up to 20% extra for personalized products and services. This makes entering the print-on-demand industry even more promising.

The Idea:

  • Build a platform enabling users to create and sell custom products. You can provide a wide range of products to customize or build upon a niche.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Design & Printing
  • Possible Business Model/s: Freemium, Subscription-based
  • Revenue Potential: $1,000 - $5,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 2 - 4 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Printify, Printful

15. Newsletter Referral Program Management Platform 

Software startup ideas - newsletter management
Newsletter Management

Background:

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective methods for growing a business, with 92% of consumers claiming to trust earned media above all other forms of advertising.

In order to generate referrals, many publishers introduce newsletter referral programs to encourage subscribers to spread the word.

However, building, designing, and managing a successful newsletter referral program requires commitment, time, effort, and technical expertise.

Newsletter Referral Program Management Platform might prove to be a worthwhile investment to carry out the process and increase subscribers without hassle.

The Idea:

  • Build a platform facilitating newsletter publishers to grow their email subscribers via referral program management. Provide integrations with leading newsletter providers.

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Marketing
  • Possible Business Model/s: Freemium, Flat-pricing
  • Revenue Potential: $1,000 - $5,000 per month
  • MVP Build Time: 4 - 6 weeks
  • Successful Examples: Firewards, SparkLoop

Bonus: 5 More Innovative Software Startup Ideas

16. Battery intelligence software

Background:

Batteries are a big part of our lives these days, even if we don’t pay much attention to their importance. Whether you are a business person relying strongly on battery, or simply annoyed when your phone or laptop runs out of it, there’s finally a solution to it. Battery intelligence software is a relatively new market assisted by technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

The global battery market was valued at $104 billion in 2022, and the numbers just keep growing. Batteries are used in every area of life, so the potential of creating software that improves their performance and life is a very smart, profitable idea. 

The Idea:

Create software that improves the capabilities of the battery, battery life, performance, and more. It should come with features that enable the smart use of battery-powered equipment, proactive maintenance, and predictive analysis. Some of the features in this product can be:

  • Data-driven insights that help users get the maximum out of their equipment
  • Predictive analysis to schedule maintenance ahead and reduce costs
  • Logistical support so that users can always keep track of the whereabouts of their batteries
  • Assistance with regulatory compliance by offering automated reports
  • Round-the-clock health surveillance for the battery to detect anomalies and faults early

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Analytics
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, Flat pricing
  • MVP Build Time: 3 to 4 months
  • Successful Examples: Elyssia battery intelligence, Voltaiq, Twaice

17. E-ticketing Software

Background:

Very often, it takes longer than a customer is willing to wait to respond to their query. It’s also hard to keep track of all reservations and appointments, which is why businesses struggle to organize their schedule during busy periods. 

With the right e-ticketing system, users can convert requests and reservations into tickets. Automation allows them to respond to common queries and offer fast assistance, therefore reducing the workload for the support. 

E-ticketing programs collect all kinds of data. They collect forms filled out by consumers and organize them for the support. This way, the support can answer the queries more efficiently. Thanks to automation, the software can also provide instant answers just like a chatbot. 

Moreover, an e-ticketing program can collect data on purchases, searches, and communication with the users - and create useful reports that will help the business boost their customer experience and satisfaction. 

These can be used on websites, email, social media, and other places where the business communicates with the customer. 

The Idea:

You can develop software that addresses all concerns, gives automated responses, solves problems, and tracks the tickets during their entire lifecycle. This tool will encourage self-service and boost the support experience using AI and automation. 

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Customer service; organization
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, Flat pricing
  • MVP Build Time: 3-4 months
  • Successful Examples: Roller, Stanza, Bandwagon

18. Adaptive AI Chatbots

Background:

One of the biggest trends in modern technologies today is that of adaptive artificial intelligence. With the invention of tools like ChatGPT and their overnight success, this is definitely a market to tap into if you want an innovative software startup. 

Based on the success of adaptive AI tools, experts predict that companies that embrace this technology will outperform their competition by 25% by 2026. This means that the number of businesses that use adaptive AI technology such as chatbots will increase in the months and years that follow, making this the perfect idea for your software startup. 

Unlike reactive AI which uses predefined patterns and rules, an adaptive AI chatbot has the ability to learn and adapt over more extended periods of time. It starts small but builds up into something improved and grown based on the data it collects from users. It uses experience and feedback to improve and start handling tasks better and more efficiently. 

The Idea:

When we talk about adaptive AI, we instantly think of chatbots like ChatGPT. If you have the means and capabilities to create one, this is a very smart investment for today. Create a chatbot that has all of the capabilities of trending software solutions, but make it adaptive i.e. give it the opportunity to learn from its users. Focus on fields like finance, manufacturing, administration, and healthcare. 

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Chatbots
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, Flat pricing
  • MVP Build Time: 6-7 months
  • Successful Examples: SiteGPT, Claude, ChatSonic

19. Blockchain Skill Verification Software

Background:

The hiring market is extremely competitive nowadays. Job seekers have to jump through many hoops to land a competitive position. Employers don’t have it easy, either. They need to find the gem in a crowd of applicants - over half of which lie in their resumes. 

This is where skill verification software enters the picture. Today, blockchain skills verification software is the ideal way to streamline the verification process and make smarter decisions without any bias. Thanks to this type of software, providers of jobs can get all the details about the credentials of their applicants, as well as existing employees. 

Why blockchain? A blockchain-based system for verification will offer a more transparent, decentralized, and highly secure platform where people can share their competency levels, experiences, certifications, learning progress, and much more. 

If the employee wants to share a credential with job providers, they can simply do that on portals like LinkedIn, and skill verification software will verify this for the employer instantly. Not every employee wants everyone to know about their credentials - and such software offers them the privacy they need. 

The Idea:

Develop software that will improve the process of candidate checks and recruitment. Use blockchain to create a repository of credentials of verified users to share with interested job providers. This adds more transparency and gives job seekers control over who can access their credentials, so you are tapping into both targeted markets - the job seeker and the employer. 

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Employment
  • Possible Business Model/s: Subscription-based, flat pricing
  • MVP Build Time: 4-5 months 
  • Successful Examples: Skillchain, Dataart

20. OCR Software

OCR refers to Optical Character Recognition and is software used to run through documents and understand them, create summaries, take actions, and automate the otherwise lengthy process. 

Background:

Optical character recognition services are used to convert documents that are in a non-editable format like images, paper documents, and PDFs, into formats that are editable, searchable, and machine-readable. 

This used to be a whole process before, especially for businesses and individuals that had to tackle such documentation frequently. Today, OCR applications use AI and ML to automate data capture and use big data to convert these instantly. 

Now that the number of companies that automate document processing is growing and the majority of them go paperless, this is a great software market to dab into. 

The Idea:

AI-based processing of documents can digitize data conveniently and fast. Create software that users can use to scan and process documents like images, invoices, and receipts, without delays or errors. 

Factsheet:

  • Industry/Category: Documentation
  • Possible Business Model/s: Free, Subscription-based, Flat pricing
  • MVP Build Time: 3-4 months
  • Successful Examples: Nanonets, ABBYY FLexicapture, Omnipage Ultimate

Ready to Develop?

Needless to say, it is imperative for businesses and their development teams to keep up with trends as the software industry is transforming quickly, or else they’ll be swept out of the game.

Try to solve a problem in an easier, faster, or smarter way if you can. 

Whether it sustains or fails, the risk is worth taking if you have found that great idea.

You will fail if you don't work hard and focus on what to build or how to serve your customers better. Maintain a roadmap and do regular sprints.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, we would suggest building a software catering to a niche audience. For more niche software ideas check out this info-packed article - 18 Micro SaaS Ideas

Micro SaaS Inspiration Box
Click to go to Micro SaaS Inspiration Box to find tons of profitable software ideas

Take these ideas, refine them, and make them yours!

When you’ve chosen the idea that fits and is scalable, the next step is to start developing. The best way to save time and resources is to build your software startup using no-code tools.

Got a software startup idea, but not sure how to go about it? Watch this video:

Now, time to answer some of your most common questions on Software Startup Ideas:

How do I start a new software business?

To start a new software business, follow the below steps:

  • Identify a problem: The foremost step to building a profitable software startup is to identify an immediate problem and build upon it.
  • Build MVP: Prioritise features of your MVP, as it is the most essential element of a software startup. 
  • Pre-sell MVP: Market your MVP and get in some early customers and keep working on the feedbacks.
  • Gather customers: When you’ve validated your idea, it’s time to start selling your finalized software.

How can I develop software? 

The best way to develop software is – no-code. No-code gives you the liberty and features to design almost any kind of software, without proving heavy on the pocket.

Alternatively, if you have a complex use case, along with a decent budget, you may consider hiring a development team and turn your ideas into a tangible product using the latest frameworks and technologies within a reasonable budget.

How do software projects get clients?

These are some best ways to get software project clients:

  • Reach out: When you’re new to the market, coldly reaching out is one of the best ways to get early clients.
  • Post: Posting around your software niche can make you a thought leader in the industry and help you get clients.
  • Proof: People trust results. Show them proof of work and testimonials to win their trust.

How much does it cost to develop software?

The cost of developing software starts from $50,000 and can go as high as $2,50,000 or even more.

You can use low-code or no-code development to drastically reduce this cost. It costs anywhere between $5 - $1000 a month.

What is the target market for a software company?

The target market for your software company will depend on the industry and niche of the software you’ve developed. 

Ask ‘who will benefit the most from my software?’ and you’ll get your target audience as an answer.

How long does it take to code software?

It takes 3 - 9 months to code, develop and test a software. The time largely depends on the complexity of your software.

How do you estimate a software project?

Some key points to follow while estimating a software project:

  • Work: Break down the entire software development project into small tasks and sub-tasks.
  • Time & Labor: Estimate the time and labor required for each small task which adds up – giving you a ballpark range of the entire software development project.
  • Technique: Decide on the technique you’ll use for software project estimation – Top-Down Estimate, Bottom-Up Estimate, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Three Point Estimation, and more.
  • Error margin: To accurately estimate a software project, it is suggested to have a 5% - 10% error margin.

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