MVP Development Cost: 9 Main Aspects for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

February 25, 2024
7 min

Pricing is always a controversial aspect of custom software development. Prices vary per region, time, difficulty, and dozens of other factors. Therefore, we will unveil everything you need to know about pricing when you plan to build an MVP.

In this article, we will cover essential aspects that form the MVP cost, as well as look at development steps from the time and cost perspective. However, to put more clarity into the estimates we provide in this piece, we will take a marketplace MVP as an example. Thus, we will form all MVP pricing around it.

The importance of budgeting for your MVP software development

Budgeting ensures financial stability throughout the development process. It allows you to allocate resources efficiently, preventing overspending or running out of funds. With a clear budget in place, you can emphasize developing certain features according to their importance and feasibility within the allocated resources.

Moreover, budgeting helps in setting realistic expectations for stakeholders. By outlining the estimated costs upfront, you can avoid misunderstandings and discrepancies later on. Transparent communication regarding budget constraints fosters trust and collaboration among team members, investors, and clients.

Furthermore, budgeting encourages strategic decision-making. It prompts you to evaluate different approaches, technologies, and development methodologies based on their cost-effectiveness and potential return on investment (ROI). With a limited budget, you’re compelled to make informed choices that maximize value while minimizing expenses.

What are the aspects that form the MVP cost?

When determining how much does MVP cost, several factors come into play. Understanding these aspects is essential for creating an accurate budget and ensuring the success of your project. Thus, let’s explore.

What influences MVP cost

Product audience

The target audience for your MVP influences its cost significantly. Thus, developing features to cater to specific user needs may require you to find more time and funds.

The level of complexity in the solution you’re planning

The complexity directly impacts the MVP pricing. Simple, straightforward solutions typically cost less to develop compared to complex systems with intricate functionalities and integrations.

Intended platforms

Supporting multiple platforms (such as web, mobile, and desktop) increases development complexity and cost. Each platform may require unique development efforts, testing procedures, and optimization measures. Note that it’s preferred to release an MVP for a single platform and port it to others later on.

Industry focus

The industry in which your MVP operates can affect its development cost. Highly regulated industries or those with specialized requirements may incur additional expenses for compliance, security measures, and industry-specific features.

Integration with external systems

Many MVPs introduce third-party services. For instance, you may need to use payment solutions, third-party application programming interfaces (APIs), and many others, all of which can impact development costs. Integration complexity, compatibility issues, and data exchange requirements contribute to the overall cost.

Development partner

Selecting the ideal development partner is crucial for your MVP project. Consider their expertise, experience, and location. Hourly rates vary, so assess them along with the partner’s track record and portfolio. Negotiate payment structures and project terms upfront for clarity. With the right partner, you’ll ensure a successful MVP launch and pave the way for future growth.

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Technology stack

Selecting the technologies and frameworks for MVP development impacts both cost and project timeline. While opting for advanced technologies or specialized MVP tools may raise development expenses, it can lead to a stronger and more scalable solution.

Type of contract

The type of contract (fixed-price, time and materials, or dedicated team) influences how costs are structured and managed throughout the development process. Each contract type offers a different set of ups and downs when it comes to budget flexibility and risk allocation.

Steps of MVP development: their approximate time and cost

To break down the cost, dividing the development process into milestones is essential. Not only does it provide flexibility in development, but also helps to establish a clear invoicing and payment system. Hence, here’s a breakdown of the most essential development steps.

Product discovery phase: $4,000 - $8,000

During the product discovery service, our team collaborates closely with the client to define and refine the MVP concept. This stage involves thorough market research, identifying target users, and gathering requirements to ensure the MVP aligns with your business goals and customer needs.

Through workshops, interviews, and brainstorming sessions, we develop a comprehensive understanding of your project vision, objectives, and priorities. The estimated time for this phase is 1-2 weeks, with costs ranging from $4,000 to $8,000.

Prototyping and design: $6,000 - $10,000

In the prototyping and UI/UX design services, we transform the MVP concept into tangible wireframes and visual designs. Our team creates user-friendly interfaces and prototypes that capture the essence of your product while prioritizing usability and aesthetics.

We refine prototypes through iterative feedback loops and design reviews to ensure they align with your expectations and resonate with your target audience. This phase typically costs ranging from $6,000 to $10,000.

MVP development: $35,000 - $50,000

The MVP development services involve building the core functionality of the product based on the finalized designs and specifications. Our development team utilizes agile methodologies to iteratively develop, test, and refine the MVP features, ensuring rapid progress and adaptability to changing requirements.

We prioritize essential features to deliver a functional product within the allocated time and budget. Depending on the complexity of the project, MVP development may take 3-5 months, with costs ranging from $35,000 to $50,000.

Quality assurance and optimization: $8,000 - $12,000

With quality assurance services, we focus on ensuring the reliability, performance, and usability of MVP. Our QA team conducts comprehensive testing across various devices and environments to detect and resolve any bugs, glitches, or usability concerns. Additionally, we optimize the MVP for speed, scalability, and security, thereby improving the overall user experience.

We employ rigorous testing and optimization efforts, all to deliver a high-quality MVP that meets the standards and exceeds user expectations. This phase typically takes 2-4 weeks to complete, with costs ranging from $8,000 to $12,000.

Post-launch MVP development cost

Once the majority of work is done, it is still not the end. After the initial release, there are still things you should tackle to make the product successful. Thus, here are the most common aspects you may need to account for.

Maintenance and support: $400 - $1,000

Following the successful launch of your MVP, continuous maintenance and support are crucial to maintain its functionality and reliability. Our team delivers regular updates, bug fixes, and technical assistance to resolve any post-launch issues. Maintenance costs vary from $400 to $1,000 per month, based on the MVP’s complexity and required support level.

Scaling: by request

As the MVP gains traction and user demand increases, you may need to scale your infrastructure and resources to accommodate growth. Our team offers scalable solutions tailored to your specific needs. It can be done in various forms, including upgrading servers, optimizing performance, or expanding features.

Scaling costs, however, are very individual and highly depend on the nature of the product. Thus, even the approximate prices are determined on a case-by-case basis and can be requested as your project evolves.

Marketing and advertising

Successful user adoption and maximizing the MVP’s success rely heavily on effective marketing and advertising. Our team works closely with clients to craft a customized marketing strategy that aligns with their target audience and business goals.

Marketing, in fact, encompasses social media campaigns, email marketing, and many other channels to promote your MVP and attract users. Marketing and advertising costs vary depending on the scope and scale of your campaigns and can be customized to fit your budget and goals.

How much does it cost to build an MVP?

After the detailed breakdown, let’s summarize so that you get the picture clear. Following the idea that we calculate the cost for a marketplace MVP, here’s a table outlining all possible aspects you may need to account for. Note that we use $50 as an hourly price, which is common in Eastern Europe.

EpicBest case hoursWorst case hoursCost, $
Product discovery80160$4,000$8,000
UX/UI design120200$6,000$10,000
Back-end development400600$20,000$30,000
Front-end development300400$15,000$20,000
Quality assurance/testing160240$8,000$12,000
SEO optimization2040$1,000$2,000
Code review4060$2,000$3,000
Delivery to production/DevOps3050$1,500$2,500
Project management120240$6,000$12,000
Maintenance and supportOn requestOn request
ScalingOn requestOn request

The MVP cost for different types of solutions: Codica’s expertise

Products we build at Codica emphasize robustness, clarity, and performance. Regardless of the niche, we have plenty of experience delivering PWAs, marketplaces, mobile apps, and more. Thus, here are a few examples of such projects.


Basically, Chattic is an online marketplace connecting collectors and enthusiasts, offering a wide range of collectibles and antiques. With the functionality provided, users can share, discover, and discuss items while enjoying features like appraisals and insurance services.

In building Chattic from scratch, our team focused on creating a robust marketplace capable of managing high volumes of transactions and interactions. We integrated essential features such as appraisal services, insurance options, bulk uploading, and a shipping aggregator.

Chattic example built by Codica

When it comes to costs, it’s worth noting that it would be challenging to develop such a platform without relying on an MVP first. Thus, the approximate cost of MVP for a marketplace is as follows:

Estimated cost to build a marketplace MVP
FeaturesTime, hoursCost ($50/h)
UX Development56$2,800
UI Development96$4,800
Project setup36$1,800
DB structure24$1,200
Payment (Stripe or PayPal)80$4,000
Shipment (Shippo)80$4,000
Main functionality
Authorization and Security56$2,800
User Profiles32$1,600
Home page64$3,200
Search and filters72$3,600
Product page32$1,600
Reviews & Ratings48$2,400
Shopping cart84$4,200
Buyer panel0$0
Vendor panel92$4,600
Admin panel72$3,600
Non development activity
Project management72$3,600
Quality assurance92$4,600
Code review36$1,800

Bottom line

Summing up, note that the information and estimates are exemplary. Each project’s functionality, features, and time are individual and may be subject to change.

However, to get a clearer picture, feel free to contact us. Our sales team would be glad to discuss your future project in more detail. Remember, custom software development is broad, and time/costs may fluctuate a lot.

Thus, it would be great to learn about the topic so that you can come prepared when the time comes to create your own product. For this reason, feel free to learn more about our blog on software development.

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Pavlo Business and Tech Writer | Codica
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