South American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre said on Tuesday it will invest BRL 17 billion ($3.44 billion) in Brazil in 2022, up 70% from a year earlier, as part of its strategy to grow and consolidate its business in the country.
Mercado Libre added in a statement that a “significant” part of the amount will be invested in expanding operations of Mercado Pago, the group’s fintech.
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In February, the Argentine company announced it would also lift its investments in Mexico, to $1.475 billion.
After the spectacular growth of e-commerce in 2020, Mercado Libre managed to sustain its expansion path. In the 2021’s earnings results released in February, what really caught analysts’ attention was the fact that the approach taken so far by the third-largest publicly traded South American company will practically not change in the face of the global and local scenario of persisting inflation and rising interest rates.
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Even in the face of 2020’s roaring growth — a benchmark that many companies have stumbled on over the past year — MeLi saw its fourth-quarter net revenue total $2.1 billion, up 60.5% from a year earlier. It was the company’s best quarterly result ever. In Brazil, which accounts for more than half of the company’s revenue, the gain was 56% in dollars and 62.4% in reais.
To keep growing in LatAm, Mercado Libre will focus on logistics investments and financial services diversification, and portfolio expansion.