With an eye toward logistics and financial services, MercadoLibre Inc. will reportedly invest over $718 million (3 billion reais) in Brazil next year. The Latin American eCommerce pioneer intends to invest more in its payments and financial services unit as it seeks partnerships and opens additional distribution centers to further slash delivery times, Bloomberg reported.
Buenos Aires-based MercadoLibre is offering same-day delivery in Sao Paulo and aims to grow its next-day delivery offering to at least 16 cities. As it stands, the company operates two distribution centers in the Sao Paulo area and will bring facilities to other regions to offer faster delivery in a country that is bigger than the continental U.S.
Early outlay guidance for 2020 comes after investments of 2 billion reais in Brazil in 2018 and 3 billion reais in 2019. The company is defending its market share of approximately 33 percent. It aims to have customers more heavily using its services for payment solutions and day-to-day shopping as competition intensifies from retailers like Amazon and local merchants.
Chief Operating Officer Stelleo Tolda told the outlet, “We strongly believe in the growth potential of this business, so it’s too early to focus only on profitability.” Tolda met Marcos Galperin, MercadoLibre’s founder, at Stanford University toward the end of the 1990s and has been leading the Brazil business since its start 20 years ago.
In separate news, Uniko and Mercado Libre announced in August that they are teaming up to transform wedding gift registries. Mexico-based Uniko offers newlyweds an online tool to register for gifts, cash and experiences. It also now enables customers to buy goods sold via Mercado Libre using its secure payment system Mercado Pago. In a press release at the time, Alonso Cedeño, director of Mercado Libre’s consumer and electronics division, said, “Uniko helped us notice that people have changed, and more and more, they want new ways to receive gifts without relying on department stores.”