• PreSeed Now
  • Posts
  • Making sense of architecture for better buildings

Making sense of architecture for better buildings

HTCH is hatching new collaboration tools for smoother design and construction

Hello there,

A strong signal for an early-stage startup is when a founder with domain expertise understands a niche but valuable pain point, and executes on a solution for it.

That’s the case with today’s startup. Scroll down to learn all about HTCH.

But first:

  • There’s good news for another four-letter startup beginning with H. Congratulations to HACE, which has raised a £450,000 pre-seed round for its tech to help remove child labour from supply chains. Check out our profile of HACE from last May.

  • HACE’s funding round just one of the updates to our Startup Tracker this week. If you’re a paid subscriber, you can check it out for yourself as well as getting access to the full version of this and every edition of the newsletter . If you’re not a paid subscriber… upgrade here 👇Subscribe now


  • We’re in the process of moving from Substack to Beehiiv’s newsletter platform. This should have no effect on anyone’s subscription. But if you’re a paid subscriber, read this to avoid confusion!

– Martin

HTCH is hatching a better way for architects to share their work

Ponk Memoli knows all about the problems architects face, because she was one, both in Thailand and the UK.

But collaboration always felt like a pain. 

Architects often have to discuss their work with non-technical people such as a marketing team or even the clients themselves.

But even if they’ve been shown the plans to the building, these non-technical stakeholders can get a shock when they arrive on site, Memoli says.

“When a building has been built or is under construction, sometimes they walk in and say ‘Oh is there a wall here?’

“Even though the design has been concluded and this is the final thing, they have a surprise and say ‘Oh, I don't want a wall here’. There’s a cost to redo everything, and a construction delay.”

Memoli believes that if the communication had been better at the beginning of the process, issues like this would never have arisen.

And so she has co-founded HTCH (pronounced ‘hatch’), a startup that has built software to allow architects to easily show others their work and to easily resolve any confusion or disputes in a central, shared location.

Opening the HTCH

Memoli recently took me on a tour of a 3D home design within my web browser. She invited me to ‘follow’ her in the web app, which meant she could guide me around the home pointing out particular aspects of the design.

I could then break free from the tour and explore the design on my own. Both of us could leave notes or file attachments such as images anywhere. 

If I wanted double doors where the design showed a single door, for example, I could stick a note on the door for the architect to address. I would then be able to check back later to see the updated model.

HTCH is designed to be a hub for 3D models, reference images and documents, and everything a non-technical stakeholder needs to understand a project fully.

“We’re focusing on the collaboration first, because that is the core problem, why mistakes happen,” Memoli says.

The story so far

Memoli says she wanted to be an architect from an early age, and she became qualified and began her career in Bangkok in Thailand, where she grew up.

She relocated to the UK in 2014 and continued her career as an architect. But she also started formulating ideas for how she could push the profession forward through technology.

While most professions use widely available tools like Google Docs, architects have very specific software that isn’t easily accessible to others.

“Architecture itself is for everyone… My personal mission is always to try to make architecture more accessible,” she says. “If there is a way to help people communicate with architects, we'll have a better building.

“Imagine if I put the door in the wrong way, and the homeowner needs to walk past that door every day. It disrupts their life and they need to adjust to it.”

The idea for HTCH was inspired by collaborative design software Figma. Memoli believed something similar would be useful for sharing architects’ 3D models. With web browsers becoming more capable of working with 3D, an opportunity arose.

And so Memoli co-founded HTCH with her husband, Michele, who previously founded a UX agency. Joining the Design Museum Entrepreneurs Hub, they got to work on a tech demo.

Armed with this, they raised some initial funding to allow them to go full-time. Backers included architects, as well as investors who had built their own homes and understood the pain point HTCH was addressing from the other side.

Since then, HTCH has built the first full verison of its software in beta. It launched publicly in November last year.

The year ahead

HTCH plans to expand its scope to make the product useful for the construction industry, allowing tradespeople to benefit from its approach to communication. 

Memoli says because existing software for project management of construction projects is better suited to large projects, there is an opportunity on small to medium sized projects.

Also on the roadmap is an enhanced set of tools that will allow users to edit 3D models directly within the app, rather than relying on fixed models uploaded by an architect.

Go deeper on HTCH

Read more about their funding, vision, competition and challenges 👇


Subscribe to Premium Membership to read the rest.

Become a paying subscriber of Premium Membership to get access to this post and other subscriber-only content.

Already a paying subscriber? Sign In

A subscription gets you:
Full profiles of early-stage startups every Tuesday & Thursday with investment info, their future plans
Access to our Startup Tracker database
Support our work to bring you the best startups