Born on a Hollywood set, Perth entrepreneur's software idea SpaceDraft takes off with $1.5m raise

Born on a Hollywood set, Perth entrepreneur's software idea SpaceDraft takes off with $1.5m raise

SpaceDraft founder Lucy Cooke. 

After raising an additional $1.5 million in seed capital, Perth-based visual logistics startup SpaceDraft is priming its go-to-market strategy so the cloud-based web application can expand its user base outside of Australia into the US and South-East Asia.

Having previously raised $1.2 million, the visual planning tool designed to help prepare the next generation of creatives to craft their ideas has received new investment from angel investors Dr Tim Haggett, Grant Grosser, and Larry Lopez.

Founded in 2016, the inspiration for the business came to founder Lucy Cooke while she was working as a visual effects coordinator in LA, coordinating between developers and programmers on a live-action set.

“I think there's something magical about a whole bunch of strangers coming together to make a movie that only last a couple of hours and, although the money involved always fascinated me, I was more in love with the process than anything else,” founder Lucy Cooke told Business News Australia.

“There's nothing glamorous about making movies, it's just about good people coming together to build a common vision, and that vision all starts with the script.

“That's why SpaceDraft is the script for the future - the paper script is a technology from 100 years ago that isn’t going to work for Web 3.0, social computing or the metaverse, nor is going to work for how we will need to tell and show stories in a 4D space.”

Comparing the technology to a ‘Pensieve’ - a magical device referenced in Harry Potter where memories are put into a bowl before others can pull them out - Cooke believes her software tool can help people do something similar.  

Having spent a decade in Hollywood, working on films like Game of Thrones and Pirates of the Caribbean, Cooke often felt frustrated. She could often think of a solution onset but couldn’t communicate it to everyone fast enough.

“I would just get really angry. We were using paper, storyboards, videos and photos, but why couldn’t we just have a really simple tool that would put all the information together in one spot that you could update in real-time to everyone, and everyone could have access to the latest solution,” Cooke says.

“SpaceDraft is a real-time collaboration tool that not only shows how a moment will play out but what needs to happen to make that moment a success,” she added.

“When you consider the expense of shooting a scene, managing a site shutdown or executing a huge event, this is crucial. We’re enabling certainty, and the possibilities within that are limitless.”

The entrepreneur has been steadily growing the business since returning to Perth after her US visa ran out in 2016. Starting with a business plan, building a prototype while continuing to waitress on the side, Cooke was then accepted into an accelerator program in Melbourne – which she won.

Evolving from its initial purpose as a planning tool, SpaceDraft’s software applications now extend across different industries, from classroom learning to gaming production and wedding planning, mining site coordination and even emergency service responses.

The business’ current partners include Curtin University, Alcoa Corporation, Fugro, Landgate and several independent schools.

“To make a startup succeed, the founder must have persistence, tenacity, and a level of courage rarely found,” Tim Haggett, Founder of WA health network Apollo Health said.

“Lucy is that one-in-a-million founder – she has the vision and the determination needed to make SpaceDraft a true game-changer. 

“Of course, SpaceDraft as a product is also hard to ignore. At its most basic, it is a very clever communication tool but look a little deeper, and it’s a platform that distils incredibly complex stuff very easily. It enables users to embed deep detail without confusing the core message — which is a hugely valuable offering.”

After being named the Startup of the Year at the Lateral INCITE awards in Western Australia in 2020, Cooke has her sights set on her next goal.

“We're really set on our Series A, which is our goal,” Cooke says.

“We've got great traction at the moment, but we know that we want 100,000 daily active users and a million dollars in revenue by the end of the year.

“We're really going hard that Series A - it's the team that deserves security in their jobs, and the world needs this product.

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