What is a Super App?

A Super App allows a user to access several services from one single app. This is the dream for the world’s most ambitious entrepreneurs.

Published 27th August 2021

By Alex Lawford

Super Apps usually work in one of two ways.

Standalone Super Apps

These apps are where the developer has control over the systems the ecosystem, the design and how the app functions under a centralised framework.

Connected Super Apps

Connected Super Apps are those which have a centralised framework. But then help allow developers to add, create and innovate with functionality to improve their services utilising APi’s.  

Why Are They Being Developed

SuperApps, stifle competition. Look to take total market share and dominate the regions they operate in. Creating so much disruption they break entire supply chains / raise the barriers to entry. Think of an app that is your bank, your retailer, your lender, your travel broker and your insurer.

Essentially, your life is in one app.

An example of this is Amazon; you can buy your shopping online (and now in-store), watch TV & take out a credit card.

Building Ecosystems

Super Apps rely on four things; loyalty, lots of customers, high-quality customer data and NPD. 


Creating technology systems and experiences that make customers interested and want them to come back for more. Think about how Instagram, make you scroll, infinite scroll was created to hook you in and keep you in the app.

High Quality Data

Data is king. Data is the new oil. Whatever you want to call it. Data, lets businesses make the right decisions and help them plan for the future. CLM, now allows retailers to understand, share and prompt retailers that you’re in BUY MODE.

Lots of Customers

Having access to areas of high density populations with rising or high income levels, helps create, build, test and scale up rapidly.

New Product Development

Whether it is a shiny new product or you’ve been chosen to join a beta test within an app. Ecosystems depend on continuous innovation, otherwise, they fail to stay relevant and become obsolete if something new comes along;

TikTok is now the most downloaded app in the world, Facebook is now having to fight to stay relevant among younger generations.

Shenzen China Home of Super App

China, The Birthplace Of The Super App

Every Super App up until about four years ago was located in China. Weirdly enough the dearth of capital and the regulatory scrutiny of the CCP has provided the perfect environment for Super Apps to form. The lack of competition, the challenges of operating in China and the concentration of the tech sector around Shenzen meant very little competition could form.

The Influence Of Silicon Valley

Our world in the West is ever being influenced by Menlo Park and Palo Alto, Super Apps, are there forte. Where, in China, the lack of competition has made uncopyable monoliths. The US, with its deep-pocketed business angels, venture capitalists and private equity firms,  enable the most outlandish entrepreneurs with crazy business concepts to thrive.

Europe Playing Catching Up

Launching disruptive technologies is an immense challenge. Every company has to deal with regulatory compliance, language barriers, data processing requirements and legal hurdles in order to succeed. 

In Europe, our entrepreneurs have created the highest concentration of billion-dollar companies in the world. But, as a continent, we’re only now on the cusp of creating our own Super Apps.


Europe has 24 official languages and over 200+ unofficial languages, this represents a massive challenge for mobile application developers to create seamless experiences for users.


Each member state has regional legislation and EU indoctrinated legislation.

Wealth Distribution

Wealth is highly focused around Tier 1 European countries like Germany, France, Italy and the UK; These states are higher on the priority list for developers. While nations like Kosovo, Moldova and Ukraine don’t get a look in. This makes truly Europe wide Super Apps a big challenge.

The West’s First Global Super App

Entrepreneurs in the US & UK have been working on mobile applications since the dawn of the iPhone. Traditionally, application developers look to solve one major problem and focus solely on that one thing. But for certain developers, they ask the right question.

“Anyone can be a bank; The question is. What could we be after being a bank?”

Alexander Lawford

Founder at The Difference Group

Introducing Revolut.

Revolut, is now a banking, crypto wallet, insurer, credit issuer, salary finance provider, stock broker, FX broker and recently travel (and a whole lot more). They’ve got visibility on what categories their customers are spending on and can use this data to create new, informed decisions around the new product their customers what, rather than making guesstimates around what their customers might need.

Revolut Global Super App

The App has over 15m customers, across 35+ countries and support 500k+ business customers.

Super Apps Are The Future

Super Apps enable users to get more visibility of their data. Unlock perks of being part of an ecosystem and create a bond with the company that gives them ultimately a much easier life. Think of all the apps you use, how many banking apps you have on your phone, this could all be streamlined.

As a consumer, you’ve got to decide if you trust the company enough with all the data you’re giving them.

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By Alex Lawford

I unlock the potential of your SME, startup or scale-up; building and scaling brands. I work directly with founders, CEOs and senior leadership teams to craft strategies, implement marketing and unlock opportunities utilising technology.

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