Current Pricing made it impossible to attract new customers

After two years of working with retool the current pricing now made it almost impossible to convince (my) new small business customers to start using retool.

While not the same, everyone tells me that even Notion is more affordable. They manage everything with it and don’t want to pay twice the money, just to get some admin features.

It was „too cheap“ in the beginning but now it’s too expensive (The Business Plan - which is now inevitable because of permissions)

Its really sad, but for me it’s over.

You could easily bring back the initial „user“ permission group (not allowing edits) to the team plan and everything would be ok.

But switching to business plan means 3x the cost!

Hi @Istvan_Palfy

I always guessed the Team plan allows custom group permission as well as the distinction between editor and viewer, isn't it?

… unfortunately there is no more distinction between user and admin when it comes to editing apps, no way to edit permissions either.

These are all (and almost the only) features of the Business plan.

Is it a very recent change?

Hi @abusedmedia,

I think the issue @Istvan_Palfy is having is the same one that meant I needed to upgrade from Teams to Business.

Unless it has changed (this was three invoices ago), Teams allows anyone to edit the application. This is obviously not helpful when you have users who are not developers.

Business allows for a few developers and many users, which is the intended behaviour. The problem with Teams is that they call everyone 'Users' which is misleading and I have notified Retool of this.

Hope this is helpful for @Istvan_Palfy.


But this is just one part of the problem. The other part: A Business user is three times more expensive. So effectively prices are tripled!

No Problem with $50 per dev, but the whole product got useless, because no one is willing to pay $15 for every user. At least not small businesses.

I think we need an official clarification from Retool staff ( @Tess ?), because the Team plan specify two type of users, with two prices, it wouldn't make sense at all if it wouldn't be possible to define two type of permissions, making the second price unapplicable, isn't it?

There are some other threads regarding this, especially covering Small Businesses, also involving @Tess but I simply didn’t understand what she was saying (sorry).

I would assume, there was a simple management decision: Let’s make more money. That’s ok for retool but bad for small businesses who do not spend investor money. Like one of the threads with a guy who runs a bakery.

But who needs bread? „They should eat cake“ (Marie Antoinette)

Hey Everyone :wave:

Just jumping in here! Our pricing for teams is set up with internal tooling in mind. The typical users would be employees and coworkers of one org. When you upgrade to business you can control permissions making the application more friendly to external users because you can leverage control of who can edit your application and therefore which users are standard-users and which are end-users. I linked the current pricing above.

We hear your feedback and we do surface it internally! If we do have any changes in our pricing I will post updates in this thread and other relevant threads.


I think the Marie Antoinette quote here is a bit uncalled for. The retool team has built an awesome product and it's their prerogative to price it in a way that makes sense for them. There are lots of alternative platforms out there if retool is not a good fit.

That being said, I agree that the current pricing plans make some use cases difficult or impossible to justify and retool should do a better job at communicating the limitations of the team plans. For anyone reading this, on the team plan at the time of this post, you cannot limit which of your users can edit apps. All your users will be able to edit the apps for all other users. Without this, it is not a question of if, but when, a user makes a change they shouldn't. And recovering from this can be difficult.


Unfortunately this is not how this works in the real world. Even if I and Jim from accounting are "internal", It isn't realistic for me to build a tool, give him a login and then say "remember Jim, make sure you don't make any changes". I could cross my fingers that he listens and doesn't make a mistake but you cant actually deploy software in a business without more than that. This leaves the only real use for a team plan being a group of developers or developer type people who understand retool and can be trusted to fix their own mistakes. I'd be curious to hear from people who are running the team plan in any scenario other than this.


I definitely hear you on this!

Since we’re committed to supporting developers across a wide range of use cases (both internal & external) and industries, defining a one-size-fits-all pricing model for self-service customers is challenging. That being said, we do take user feedback seriously, so we appreciate the open discussion! I have reported this feedback and addressed these concerns in an internal ticket.

As an aside, for anyone visiting this thread who is unaware, I'd like to highlight: We offer the start up program as a great way to start growing your business in the first year of using Retool. Additionally, we have separate discounts for students, educators, and nonprofits.

I appreciate all of your input. As someone who has ran a small family-owned business I personally understand this type of pain point and truly wish the best for you :pray:.


I totally agree with the fact that the price goes up considerably.

I expected the Team plan to have permissions but be limited to say 5 users.
However I needed to upgrade to Business to get these permissions. As a result I am paying $37.50 AUD per effective person (inc one dev) for eight people.

However, I evaluated Microsoft Power Apps and they came out at $50 AUD per person, so I am still ahead.

In the end it's the least worst of the options, and they do need to make money so that when the venture capital runs out they don't collapse and leave us stranded. Further, I figure that the cost of my labour far outweighs the subscription costs and this results in an over all (5 year) cheaper solution.



Hello. I'm the CEO here at Retool. I thought I'd chime in here.

The way we (and I) have thought about pricing is that we want to charge a fair price such that Retool can be a long-term, self-sustaining business. While we have raised VC money, it's always been important to me that we raise less money, at lower valuations because we would rather focus on being a sustainable business that makes money by delivering value to customers. The upside of being a healthy, long-term, self-sustaining business is that you can count on us: we won't disappear one day, and your apps won't disappear one day either. (There are other competitors, such as Airplane, that just vanished overnight and told their customers that they had 30 days to rebuild all their apps. I can promise you that will never happen with Retool.)

That said, the way that we are priced today is suboptimal. Yes, there is no way of limiting who can edit on the "team" plan today. But that's not because we're greedy (or, for that matter, because we're Marie Antoinette). It's because that is what we need to do in order to generate revenue such that we can be a well-funded, healthy business.

Do we want to change that? Yes. In fact, over the few years, we've made multiple changes where we've lowered our pricing. For example, in 2022, we started making Retool free for all teams with less than 5 people. In 2023, we changed our pricing from "same price for all users" to "cheaper price for end-users". In the future, I would expect us to continue delivering more value to customers (whether through new products, better products, or lower pricing). This will especially be true as we move more upmarket, where larger customers are more comfortable paying higher prices (for enterprise features). As that happens, we will use that revenue to fund making Retool cheaper for all developers.

Our goal at Retool is to fundamentally improve the way that software is developed. And to do that, we need to make money (so we can hire people). But to fundamentally improve the way that software is developed, we also need be maximally appealing to developers. I am well aware that we will need to continue working on our pricing. We have, and will continue to do so. (In fact, we have something exciting to announce on this in the coming few months.)

So — thank you for using Retool, and thank you for the feedback. (Seriously.) And I hope that you all at least understand our perspective (even if you disagree).


First of all: retool is a fantastic piece of software and I like everything about the software including this community.

I don't want to blame anyone and I know, pricing is one of the hardest parts in most companies. So I am describing (mostly) just my situation.

And of course the Marie Antonette comparison is more attention bait (by the way, she said brioche, not cake) and the word „greediness“ never really fits when it comes to companies.

But on the other hand:

  • After this pricing change (as a backend developer) I can effectively throw away all my retool experience, because no one is willing to pay the (now effectively required) business plan.

  • Most of my customers use for example Notion the whole day ($7 per seat) but they use retool only once a day maybe only once a week. ($15 per seat!)

  • After starting retool I did deprecate my own admin tool, and it made sense with the team plan, but not after prices effectively tripled!

  • In fact users don’t really care if they open my admin tool or retool. The only one who cares is me, getting more productive. And I would happily pay a higher price for the gained productivity, but not through user licenses which is like a tax on my work as a developer. Which could be ok, but not on this level.

  • And what really scared me, was that you simply opened up user access so suddenly everyone could not just edit apps (potentially destroying them) but also gained (easy) access to seriously risky admin apps that were never meant for them.

Some customers will now also try to do more account sharing, which might be the biggest threat to your new pricing model. So in the end you might gain nothing except a worse user experience ...

I don’t know what you are planning, but for me as a developer retool doesn’t make sense anymore, simply because I can’t convince any of (my) typical customers. And I also can’t bear the responsibility, now that everyone can do everything with corporate databases using the team plan. In fact the team plan currently makes no more sense at all.

I will have to revive my own admin app, will use those newish server side database features with react and done. Actually this gives me possibilities that are even far superior to any plan you might offer!

… and I even remember me thinking in the beginning: „Wait, that’s cheap, too cheap. Be careful, they might try to lock you in“.

Yeah. At least in my situation - and I cannot speak for others: That’s exactly what happened. Not because of shutting down the service (like Airplane) but because of a "minor change" to our pricing plan.

And now the worst case is taking place, exactly as you described it: I now have „30 days to rebuild all of my apps“ …

Update: Funny. So one of my customers just asked: „Do we really need that staging thing?“ Me: „Not necessarily“. Him: „Nice. So lets downgrade to the free plan.“

Since I am not living in San Francisco I didn’t even understand a word:

Who is eligible for Retool for Startups?

Startups who are bootstrapped, angel-funded, debt-funded, pre-seed, seed, or Series A, and founded within the last 10 years. You must be a new customer, or an existing customer on the Free plan. Startup credits cannot be used in conjunction with other (sales-offered) discounts.

I work for small companies, mostly social entrepreneurs. AFAIK they don’t even qualify as non profits.

Hi @Istvan_Palfy, I’m on the Retool pricing team; appreciate you sharing this feedback and I’ve reached out directly (by email) to try and better understand your situation. Thanks!


We also found the pricing for the services required to be a show stopper. I couldn't get management to buy into the future required investments. We had to end our POC.

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We planned and actually implemented internal tools, that are used less frequently and only internally. Exactly as advertised by retool.

In-House Development was not feasible but only compared to the old pricing (with a previously usable team plan) But the new pricing (requiring business plan) completely turned things around. Now it’s cheaper to simply add this functionality to existing systems.

Actually these became just a few more user stories not even questioned by anyone. Developers: Yeah, Ok, not a big deal. And that extra effort of user/application management for retool - effectively creating a second platform to “manage“ - just went away.

Still we can reuse a lot of things we prepared, like (in our case) a dozen of mongoDB views making queries easier. Especially those new server side database queries in react help to simplify things a lot.

While I was a big advocate of retool I was still smart enough to not allow any real dependence on paid external tools, also not retool. Still, for me personally retool was like a dream that turned into nightmare.