Mexico-born venue marketplace Scouter lands in Miami to plot US expansion

By Riley Kaminer

Miami, are you ready for your close up? Thanks to one Mexico-turned-Miami startup, it is easier than ever for some of our city’s top properties to get their much-deserved time in the spotlight.

Meet Scouter: a digital platform enabling event organizers, workshop leaders, photographers, film directors, and more to find, vet, and book unique locations.

“It is always a pain to find the perfect location,” Mauricio Almeida, Scouter’s founder and CEO, told Refresh Miami. And in his home country of Mexico, scouting locations can even be deadly, with a Narcos crew member having been fatally shot while scouting.

“When that happened, we began to think: ‘Why can’t we solve this problem with technology?’” Almeida explained. And so Scouter was born in 2021. The company has a unique model whereby it does not simply offer a marketplace; rather, it additionally offers a consulting option whereby users can connect with a scout to help them on their location hunt.

“We’re creating a new sub-industry,” Almeida asserted, noting that many of the scouts are film students who can find relevant work by the hour.

“This becomes a tool for scouters who are dedicated to their craft,” added Gustavo Murillo López, the company’s head of global expansion. “It generates revenue for them and gives them the opportunity for more recurring work through our platform.”

Scouter’s business proposition is also a boon to property owners, of course – especially short-term rental property owners who want to find additional income streams when their property is not already booked. “For hosts, it’s a great option, since from Monday to Wednesday they don’t have as high a volume of people staying at their properties,” said Almeida.

Almeida, who was previously a director at Sony Entertainment, landed in Miami around two months ago, bringing Scouter with him. Having scaled to 2,500 locations and 8,000 creators in Mexico after having started simply with an Instagram and Facebook page, he is excited for a new challenge in the US market.

A Miami area venue featured on Scouter. Scouter founder and CEO Mauricio Almeida is shown at top of this post.

“It was difficult to grow, but we made it happen by working very hard to show people the value and the possibility to make anyplace a good location,” Almeida asserted.

So why Miami? “You have big powerhouses like Telemundo doing great things here,” noted Almeida. “And when the biggest production houses in Latin America want to do a big production, they come to Florida.” Our city also has a large amount of Airbnb locations, and Scouter has already started to collaborate with the Florida Alliance for Vacation Rentals to provide value to its stakeholders.

What’s more, Almeida and Murillo López are bullish on the South Florida market given the soaring rate of creative projects and events in Miami, as well as Miami-Dade’s recent High Impact Film Fund announcement of 50 million, incentivizing the industry with a 20% cash rebate on projects filmed here over the next 5 years.

So far, Almeida is the only member of the 15-person team who is based in SoFlo. The company is currently raising a $1 million seed round at a $7 million valuation to enable its growth throughout the US. Next up after Miami is New York, a market which the company hopes to open by the end of this year.


Riley Kaminer