Apps / Startups / Travel / Web development

Meet BACH, the platform for easy bachelor and bachelorette party planning

Founder Mike Petrakis said he's watching the travel bug return as the pandemic wanes, and is excited to grow the now-20-person company from his hometown.

BACH's platform. (Courtesy image)

Mike Petrakis knew there were about a million apps, websites and schedulers involved in planning all the social events around weddings.

The entrepreneur — a Philly-area native who’s currently planning his own bachelor party in Las Vegas with about 15 people — said that between booking flights, splitting the costs of travel and activities, and finding fun things to do wherever you land could be a convoluted process. In 2019, he began building a platform that would house all the steps, costs and travel plans in one place.

Just before the pandemic, he launched BACH, a free app that hosts planning and booking tools for bachelor and bachelorette parties. The app allows you to share plans, host polls, create a shared itinerary, track and split expenses as well as having a central group chat with all the attendees. It also acts as a marketplace of local experiences, which you can book through the app, and the site offers city guides and a quiz to help figure out which of some popular destinations could be the right fit for you.

“The city guides will tell you what you want to do, you go through onboarding flow, you pick a city, then your eat, play and stay options,” Petrakis said.

While IRL parties were on hiatus because of the virus, Petrakis said he and his team of developers refined the app. The company went from hosting and experiences in three cities to 12. But planning travel isn’t just relegated to the cities that the company has guides for, and you can use it for group trips outside of wedding-related activities.

In its first few months in 2020, the app saw 100,000 users, Petrakis said; with the rerelease in January 2021, its traffic grew by 10 times. The platform was built using React and React Native on the frontend, and JavaScript and Node.js on the backend, he said. It exists only as an application right now, but a desktop version is likely coming soon.

Now, BACH at about 20 full-time employees and reaching a supply-side challenge, Petrakis said. The company has raised $4 million in seed funding since BACH’s origination, the founder said, and he plans to grow the team to keep up with demand. A handful of folks are in the Philadelphia area and across the East Coast and the company rents space in the Fitler Club’s Offsite coworking space when they need to work in-person or take meetings.

While the team is working mostly remotely — Petrakis is currently in the ‘burbs but plans to move to the city soon — he’s excited to get more integrated into the tech scene in his hometown. The last six months of rapid growth has proven what travel experts had predicted: Folks are really ready to get out and start traveling again.

“People are set to to spend more money on travel than ever before,” he said of the next year. “We’ve made it through, our growth has been explosive and it’s forcing our hand to raise to expand. We see this as the entry point. We want to be the number-one platform for group travel.”

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