Mercado Libre takes $375 million from Citi to expand credit offer in Brazil and Mexico

Mercado Libre keeps going with its bold strategy to expand the credit avenue; in 2021's Q3, the credit portfolio exceeded $1.126 billion

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Mercado Libre has taken out a $375 million financing line with Citi Bank to expand its credit offer to consumers, entrepreneurs, and small-sized businesses in Brazil and Mexico. During the two-year deal with Citi, Mercado Libre intends to allocate $225 million to expand its credit vertical in Brazil and $150 million for Mexico.

The money borrowed by Mercado Libre will be able to be used in the marketplace, but not only. According to Martin de los Santos, senior vice president of Mercado Crédito, the company’s goal is to promote financial inclusion in the region by offering to finance “so that people have access to the products they need and entrepreneurs can expand their businesses,” he said.

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With the financing line, Mercado Libre doubles its bet on its credit arm. Not for nothing: in 2021’s Q3, its credit portfolio exceeded $1.126 billion, with 24.5 million loans granted.

Mercado Crédito currently is available in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, and most of the loans granted are for an average amount of $450.

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With the Citi investment, Mercado Libre consolidates a credit line totaling more than $625 million to finance third-party operations in Latin America. “Citi’s investment will help us continue to scale and enhance our reach to democratize financial services and access to credit in Latin America,” de los Santos said.

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