The Rise of Mercado Libre

Case Solution

William Barnett, Christy Johnson, Gary Mekikian
Stanford Graduate School of Business ()

Marcos Galperin, a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, founded Mercado Libre in 1999 with the vision of building an e-commerce company focused on emerging but rapidly growing Spanish and Portuguese-speaking markets in Latin America. In the spirit of a Silicon Valley startup, the company was founded in a garage in Buenos Aires. Until 2006, Mercado Libre was home to the largest online trading platform in Latin America. Shortly before the company’s IPO in 2007, Mercado Libre made a profit that most internet startups had failed to make. It had full-year 2006 sales of $ 52 million and a net profit of $ 1.1 million. The initial public offering itself raised $ 289 million. By 2019, Mercado Libre was the largest online commerce ecosystem in Latin America based on unique visitors and page views. It operated in 18 Latin American countries: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and El Salvador. Over the past 20 years, Mercado Libre has developed a diversified business model aimed at boosting electronic commerce. With Mercado Libre Marketplace as its hub and engine, the company has developed additional business areas to offer payment solutions, logistics, financing, advertising and software services. The Mercado Libre ecosystem is designed to provide users with a complete portfolio of services to facilitate business transactions and provide buyers and sellers with an environment that encourages the development of a large e-commerce community in Latin America, a region with cultural challenges. and special geographic. . Mercado Libre had invaded Latin America; However, Mercado Libre faced a formidable competitor, Amazon. Amazon entered Latin America in 2012 and expanded rapidly.

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