MercadoLibre to Double Workforce and Funnel $1.1B to Mexico Operation

Other featured stories include: Clocktower Technology Ventures Announces $25M LATAM Fund; Fintech Unicorn Nubank’s Mexican Division Nu Mexico to Acquire $135M in Capital to Expand Operations in Latin America; and Andreessen Horowitz Unpacks Latin America’s Fintech Boom.

MercadoLibre to Double Workforce and Funnel $1.1B to Mexico Operation

Argentinian e-commerce firm MercadoLibre is planning to double its workforce this year and invest $1.1 billion to expand its warehouse space and services in Mexico, spurred on by a pandemic-driven boom in online shopping. 

The investment figure is nearly triple the $420 million MercadoLibre spent last year in Mexico, a rapidly growing market where it is battling to stay ahead of global giant Amazon and other rivals. The company’s current market capitalization is around $75 billion. 

Reuters reports the investment will double its warehouse space and boost fintech services such as consumer credit, the company said in a statement, adding that it will create more than 4,700 jobs in the country.

MercadoLibre has previously said it would spend almost $1.8 billion in Brazil this year, but has not yet disclosed overall investment plans for the region.

Clocktower Technology Ventures Announces $25M LatAm Fund

Clocktower Technology Ventures, a Californian investment firm, announced a new $25M fund exclusively for Latin American fintechs.

Since its launch in 2015, Clocktower Ventures has invested in 96 fintech companies across North America, Europe, and Latin America. A few major LatAm names include Flink, Habi, and Kushki.

LatAm List reports that the fund will focus exclusively on fintechs at Seed and Series A stages across Latin America. This includes insurance, payments, personal finance, lending, credit, asset management, real estate finance, and banking.

“We had spent some time before getting to know the landscape and exploring it. About six months ago, we realized just how good we believe the opportunity in Latin America to be, and we thought it made sense to pursue a purpose-built innovation strategy in the region,” said Ben Savage, Partner at CTV.

ClockTower Technology Ventures expects to make around 40 investments with the fund over the coming years. The firm will also help connect founders and startups to key players in the global fintech market through investments.

Fintech Unicorn Nubank’s Mexican Division Nu Mexico to Acquire $135M in Capital to Expand Operations in Latin America

Fintech Unicorn Nubank, the largest standalone digital banking platform in the world, will be acquiring $135 million in capital in order to support its business operations in the Latin American region’s second-largest economy.

As first reported by Bloomberg, Nu Mexico will receive $70 million in funding from its Brazilian parent firm. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. will be offering revolving credit lines valued at $65 million, according to General Manager Emilio Gonzalez. 

Nubank, currently valued at around $25 billion during a fundraise that took place earlier in 2021, has managed to expand its operations to become one of LatAm’s largest financial services providers. Nubank strives to provide more affordable, and almost no paperwork products and services. The Fintech firm launched its very first credit card in Mexico back in March of last year, which came right around the time when COVID-19 awareness became more widespread globally.

The firm intends to hire additional staff members in Mexico, with plans to recruit more than 300 workers by the end of 2021 to help it expand its business in the country; where many people still do not have access to modern banking services.

Nubank, which hasn’t conducted an IPO yet, has managed to extend operations outside of Brazil. It maintains offices in Argentina, Colombia, and now Mexico. The fintech giant secured more than $1.2 billion during the past 7 years with strategic investments from Sequoia, Tencent Holdings and GIC.

Andreessen Horowitz Unpacks Latin America’s Fintech Boom

Latin America is currently experiencing an explosion of fintech activity, and this is just the beginning. In the following article, Andreessen Horowitz unpacks the key market dynamics that make the region a promising place to start a fintech company, the tailwinds and headwinds in the region, and where we see opportunities for the next billion-dollar companies to emerge. 

Large, latent demand for fintech in Latin America

1. Latin America is large

2. Latin American banks cater to the affluent

3. For those that are served, the digital banking experience is underdeveloped and 


4. Economies are largely cash-based

5. “Your margin is my opportunity”: Latin American banks are some of the most profitable in the world

Opportunities for fintech in Latin America 

  1. New full stack players
  1. Infrastructure
  1. Business services
  1. Real estate
  1. Pan-LatAm expansion

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