In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The deal could help larger companies sell more on MercadoLibre’s marketplaces.
MercadoLibre, the largest operator of online retail marketplaces in Latin America, announced today an alliance with ChannelAdvisor, the U.S. firm that helps retailers and consumer goods manufacturers sell through marketplaces like Amazon and eBay as well as through comparison shopping engines and search engine ads.
ChannelAdvisor will provide companies that wish to sell on MercadoLibre’s eBay-like marketplaces services that help them automate product feeds, manage inventory and product listings, improve sales and handle post-sale customer service, says CEO Scot Wingo.
MercadoLibre CEO Marcos Galperin has said he aims to make his sales platform more attractive for larger companies, and Wingo says ChannelAdvisor’s will seek to serve both successful MercadoLibre sellers aiming to improve sales as well as larger retailers that want to reach the 81.5 million consumers registered with MercadoLibre. “We’re a scaling platform, not a starter package,” Wingo says.
“We believe this partnership will increase our marketplace listings and bring new strategic clients, fully integrated with our systems,” says MercadoLibre chief operating officer Steleo Tolda. “Ultimately, our consumers will benefit through an even better buying experience.”
In order to support clients in Latin America, ChannelAdvisor is opening a new office in São Paulo, Brazil. Brazil is MercadoLibre’s largest market, accounting for 48% of the $5.7 billion worth of merchandise sold last year on MercadoLibre sites.
MercadoLibre operates online marketplaces in 12 Latin American countries and Portugal. The company, founded in 1999 and publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange, is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Inspired by eBay, Galperin founded MercadoLibre while he was still a graduate student at Stanford University’s business school. EBay became an investor in MercadoLibre in 2001 and still holds an 18.4% stake in the Latin American company.
However, a non-compete agreement between eBay and MercadoLibre expired in 2006, and eBay executives recently indicated plans to launch a marketplace in Brazil next year. EBay already has taken steps to allow Brazilian consumers to buy on eBay.com, by recognizing visitors from Brazil and showing them products from retailers willing to ship there. Last year, eBay sold a woman’s handbag to Brazilian shoppers on average once every four minutes, eBay says.
For a fuller look at MercadoLibre, read a profile of the company in the upcoming November 2013 issue of Internet Retailer magazine.