Initiation of Coverage: Mercado Libre (MELI)

Mercado Libre has quietly built up a dominant multifaceted e-commerce and digital payments empire across Latin America. Everyone is always looking for the next Amazon, and Amazon’s playbook is followed closely by many, so to see a company follow their playbook, and succeed in a different part of the world is very impressive. Mercado Libre has focused heavily on building out distribution centers across its largest markets, Brazil being the crown jewel. Mercado Pago is truly revolutionary on its own, specifically enabling people to pay both on and off-platform. No other company has truly implemented such technology. What first attracted me to Mercado Libre as an investment was the capital raising they completed back in March 2019. That $750 million raise came from financial giants like Visa and PayPal, companies that are ingrained in daily life of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people. Eighteen countries may not sound like a lot since so many of Latin America’s residents are still behind their Western European and North American counterparts in per capita income, but this only gives support to the long-term view I hold, which is as follows:

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