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MercadoLibre To Expand Electric Fleet After $1.1 Billion Bond Sale

Latin American eCommerce giant MercadoLibre has sold $1.1 billion in bonds to expand its fleet of electric-powered delivery vehicles.

“We’re seeing positive results, and adoption of electric vehicles within our network should intensify going forward,” Andre Chaves, senior vice president of MercadoLibre, told Bloomberg on Friday (Jan. 15). He added that the company seeks to expand its electric delivery fleet by at least 14 times.

Chaves also said the company will earmark a percentage of the proceeds to accelerate financial inclusion in the region.

MercadoLibre’s bonds started trading on Jan. 7 and are due in 2031, Bloomberg said.

The company’s total revenue increased by 59 percent in 2019 to reach $2.30 billion; first-quarter revenue in 2020 went up 38 percent to $652 million.

Founded in 1999, based in Argentina and registered in the United States, MercadoLibre is an eCommerce platform and digital payment solution that operates across Latin America. Its digital ecosystem operates as an integrated regional platform that enables businesses and individuals to trade products and services. Online sales are facilitated via its marketplace platform, which includes classifieds for motor vehicles and real estate.

In a June PYMNTS interview, Osvaldo Gimenez, CEO of Mercado Pago, said that the 18-country region where MercadoLibre operates is complicated, with varying regulations. Known as the “Amazon of Latin America,” MercadoLibre is one of the region’s fastest-growing firms, with its own payments infrastructure that offers credit, mobile payments and asset management.

Half of Latin Americans don’t have bank accounts, making digital transactions especially important, Maria Paula Arregui, chief operating officer of MercadoLibre’s payments service, told PYMNTS in an October interview. She said the company was planning to invest more money in Brazil, topping its $716 million investment earlier in 2020. The company has seen its market value reach $61 billion, partially due to the pandemic-fueled pivot to eCommerce.

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