MercadoLibre, Inc.
Native name
MercadoLibre (Spanish)
MercadoLivre (Portuguese)
Traded as NASDAQ: MELI
NASDAQ-100 component
Industry E-commerce
Founded August 2, 1999 (1999-08-02)[1]
Headquarters Buenos Aires, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Area served
Key people
Marcos Galperin (Chairman, President & Chief executive officer) ; Pedro Arnt (Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer) ; Stelleo Tolda (Vice president & Chief operating officer) ; Osvaldo Giménez (Vice president-Payments) ; Daniel Rabinovich (Senior Vice president and Chief technology officer) ; Marcelo Melamud (Vice president and Chief Accounting Officer)
Services Online marketplace and E-commerce payment system
Revenue 844.4M (2016)[2]
136.4M (2016)[3]
Number of employees
4,000 (2016)[4]

MercadoLibre, Inc. (literally "free market" in Spanish) is an Argentine company incorporated in the United States that operates online marketplaces dedicated to e-commerce and online auctions, including MercadoLibre is Latin America's most popular e-commerce site by number of visitors.[5] The company has operations in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela.[6] As of 2016, MercadoLibre had 174.2 million users in Latin America.[2]


MercadoLibre was founded in 1999 in Argentina.[7][6] Founder and CEO Marcos Galperin established the company while attending Stanford University. He acquired funding from John Muse, co-founder of HM Capital Partners.[8][9] MercadoLibre received additional funding from JPMorgan Partners, Flatiron Partners, Goldman Sachs, GE Capital and Banco Santander Central Hispano. In 1999, MercadoLibre was chosen as an Endeavor company.[10]

In September 2001, eBay purchased a 19.5% stake in the company.[8] eBay sold its stake in MercadoLibre in 2016, but the companies continue to collaborate to expand eBay sellers into Latin America.[11][12] eBay opened its first branded store on the MercadoLibre marketplace from Chile in March 2017.[13]

The following month, MercadoLibre acquired iBazar Como, the Brazilian subsidiary of eBay's earlier acquisition, iBazar S.A.[14] In 2006, launched new operations in Costa Rica, Panama and Dominican Republic.

In August 2007, MercadoLibre became the first Latin American technology company to be listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker MELI.[6][8] MercadoLibre acquired competitor DeRemate's operations in August 2008.[15] MercadoLibre also acquired Classified Media Group (CMG) in 2008. CMG established the Latin American e-commerce portals and[16]

In 2011, the company transitioned its platform to open source technology. The transition allowed application interface developers (APIs) to expand the platform's solutions and services.[17] In 2013, MercadoLibre launched the MeLi Commerce Fund, dedicated to investing in technology startups that create software using MercadoLibre's APIs.[18] By August 2016, the fund had invested $1.5 million in 15 companies in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.[19][20] MercadoLibre acquired Portal Inmobiliario, a Chilean classified ad website, in 2014.[21] In 2015, MercadoLibre announced its acquisition of Metroscú, the portal of Mexico-based real estate company Grupo Expansión.[22]

In 2016, MercadoLibre relocated its headquarters to São Paulo, Brazil. The 17,000 square meter complex, named Melicidade, held a cafeteria, auditorium, gym, beauty parlor, meeting and training rooms, and a recreation area.[23][24] In March 2016, MercadoLibre announced its expansion into Córdoba with its new software center.[25] MercadoLibre opened its first Colombian office in Bogotá in October 2016. It was the company’s fourth customer service center in Latin America.[7][26] The company’s other customer service centers are in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.[27]


MercadoLibre operates under five main business units. MarketPlace is its platform for users to sell products, Mercado Pago is its payment platform for online sales, Mercado Publicado is the advertising portion of MercadoLIbre, Mercado Shops is a tool designed to enhance the platform's overall ecosystem,[28] and Mercado Crédito is the company's credit line.[29]

MercadoLibre's MarketPlace is a platform designed to match buyers and sellers. Customers bid for items or pay a set price for offered products. Items are delivered after payment, and users can provide feedback.[30] 3000 official stores or bands work with MercadoLibre.[31]

MercadoLibre also runs a real estate and motors division under the name MercadoLibre Clasificados. Realtors pay a monthly fee to list properties and automobiles on the MercadoLibre platform.[32]

MercadoLibre launched MercadoPago, a secure payment system, to diversify payment options.[33] MercadoPago processed 138.7 million transaction in 2016, which was a 73% improvement from 2015.[31] Launched in 2012, MercadoShops was designed to allow small and medium-sized companies to open virtual stores on their existing websites. The stores feature integration with social network sites.[34] In October 2014, a mobile app was released for MercadoPago which used a credit card reader to allow charges to be processed using a tablet or smartphone using a QR code.[33][35] The company expanded MercadoPago into Colombia in July 2016.[36]

Mercado Crédito's credit process works with buyers and sellers. Rate types for credit lines are determined through a borrower profile.[37]


  1. " WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-08-16.
  2. 1 2 "The Free Market portal sold 181.2 million products in 2016". La Republica. March 6, 2017.
  4. "Interview with Marcos Galperín: From the idea to the fact with MercadoLibre". Endeavor Argentina. September 6, 2016.
  5. "Most popular online retailers in Latin America". Statista. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  6. 1 2 3 "Mercado Libre will celebrate its17th birthday with discounts of up to 70%". La Republica. September 9, 2016.
  7. 1 2 "Mercado Libre opens offices and customer service center in Columbia". Terra. October 19, 2016.
  8. 1 2 3 Irene Caselli (October 12, 2014). "The man behind the eBay of Latin America". BBC News.
  9. Tom Metcalf, Blake Schmidt (September 28, 2016). "Argentina Sees First Tech Billionaire in Macri Renaissance". Bloomberg Technology.
  10. "Endeavor Entrepreneur Marcos Galperin on MercadoLibre (World Economic Forum report)". Endeavor. May 25, 2011.
  11. Vanessa Page (October 14, 2016). "eBay to Sell Stake in MercadoLibre". Investopedia.
  12. "eBay Selling 20% Stake in MercadoLibre". Portada. October 17, 2016.
  13. Axel Christiansen Z. (March 14, 2017). "EBay Store arrices in Chile through Mercado Libre". La Tercera.
  14. Paul Sawers (October 13, 2016). "eBay divests majority of its stake in Latin American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre". Venture Beat.
  15. "MercadoLibre buys DeRemate's operations". Clarin. August 27, 2008.
  16. "Officialized the sale of and to Mercado Libre". Salude Technologia. January 26, 2008.
  17. "MercadoLIbre Opens to Developers". InfoTechnology. April 27, 2011.
  18. "MercadoLibre reports 37% growth in electronic commerce in Latin America". Portada. August 6, 2013.
  19. Gabriela Samela (August 8, 2016). "In search of innovation, big companies launch their accelerators". Clarín.
  20. Diego Dávila (October 12, 2016). "Mercado Libre targets entrepreneurs". La Voz.
  21. "MercadoLibre buys Real Estate Portal and GuiaDinmuebles in USD $40 million". FayerWayer. April 15, 2014.
  22. "Terms & Conditions". El Economista. April 22, 2015.
  23. "Free Market in São Paulo: a small town with an Argentine flavor". Clarin. January 30, 2017.
  24. Cláudio Florenzano. "Mercado Livre inaugurates a new headquarters of R $105 million in São Paulo". CBSI.
  25. "Mercado Libre doubles its software center in Córdoba". La Voz. March 23, 2016.
  26. "MercadoLibre invested $10 million in headquarters". La Republica. October 20, 2016.
  27. "Mercado Libre to invest $10 billion in Columbia". Dinero. October 27, 2016.
  28. "Free Market Opens 'Stores' For SMES". Expansion. July 11, 2012.
  29. "Mercado Libre advances to be (also) a bank: Market Credit already offers up to $30,000". Info Negocios. December 16, 2013.
  30. Javier Drovetto (May 2, 2016). "E-commerce:fashion, big star of consumption in the country". La Nacion.
  31. 1 2 "Mercado Libre Reported One Of The Best Years Of Its History". Latin Spots.
  32. "Mercad Libre bets on the recovery of the real estate business". El Cronista. August 11, 2016.
  33. 1 2 "MercadoPago introduced its card reader to charge from a mobile device". La Nacion. October 2, 2014.
  34. Julio Sanchez Onofre (July 11, 2012). "MercadoLibre bets SMEs with MercadoShops". El Economista.
  35. Ana Clara (October 24, 2016). "Que el cliente entre al sistema por donde quiera, la batalla es con el efectivo". El Cronista.
  36. "Mercado Pago is now available for trade in Colombia". El Tiempo. July 16, 2016.
  37. "MercadoLibre advances to be (also) a bank: Market Credit already offers up to $ 30,000". Info Negocios.
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