Mercado Libre continues to advance and joins an investment fund to buy startups in the region

Marcos Galperín’s e-commerce company closed an agreement with the Kaszek fund to create MELI Kaszek Pioneer Corp

After more than 14 years of having separated their activities after the departure of Hernán Kazah from Mercado Libre, Marcos Galperin and his former partner have just re-created a joint venture.

Is about MELI Kaszek Pioneer Corp which will be made up of the largest e-commerce company in Latin America and the Kaszek fund, through which they will seek to accelerate the development of the digital ecosystem in the region.

The first step has just been taken with the launch of an initial public offering (IPO) of 25 million Class A common shares that will start at $ 10 each and are expected to be listed on the Nasdaq capital market. under the symbol of quotation “MEKA”.

That is, a total of u $ s250 million for a new company that is structured to raise capital that will then be poured into technology-based companies in Latin America in order to accelerate its growth process.

Under this premise, MELI Kaszek Pioneer Corp has just filed a registration statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch the IPO and BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs & Co LLC, Allen & Company LLC and JP Morgan are expected to act as underwriters to the offering.

Once this first step is defined, it will seek to raise enough capital to complete the acquisition of a company with a two-year term to achieve that deal.

Marcos Galperin, founder of Mercado Libre

Meanwhile, in the SEC you can enter the registry in the Form S-1, which includes the preliminary prospectus and subject to completion, in relation to the securities, of the public offering.

From Mercado Libre they reported that these securities cannot yet be sold, nor can they accept purchase offers, before the registration statement comes into effect.

The new company arises from the conversations that both entrepreneurs from the tech world had on several occasions in the Uruguayan city of Montevideo, where they both reside and where the headquarters of the companies they manage separately are also located.

Mercado Libre in the case of Galperín, y Kaszek Ventures, by Kazah, who in 2007 had left the largest e-commerce company in Latin America to undertake other business horizons.

The new company will be related to the world of venture capital where the kasah company It is considered one of the largest in the region, with more than US $ 1 billion of capital raised since its founding in 2011 and which has invested in more than 75 startups around the world.

Its business will be aimed at injecting investments in order to finance small and medium startups that are not yet listed on the stock market and that cannot obtain funds in the public equity markets or through other traditional means of financing such as bank loans.

Both would provide venture capital through financial operations through which they will lend capital to firms with high growth potential.

A business that they both understand a lot from their own experiences arising from the history of Mercado Libre, from when the company was created in the parking lot of a tower in Saavedra of which Sadesa (the Galperin tannery) was owner.

The local ecommerce company had already raised $ 7.6 million from various investors such as Chase Capital Partners, Flatiron Partners; JP Morgan and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, as it did years later on behalf of Goldman Sachs; Banco Santander and GE Capitals that added another US $ 46.5 million.

After many more business rounds and successful commercial strategies, today Mercado Libre’s market cap stands at US $ 97.7 billion, consolidating the company almost on par with the world’s most important players such as Amazon, which it has a market value close to US $ 175,000 million.

For his part, and since he decided to leave the company he founded with his friend in 2007, Kazah has dedicated himself to consolidating one of the largest venture funds in Latin America from which he landed on the board of Valoreo, a startup of e-commerce based in Mexico.

Massive investor

His Kaszek Ventures fund that he created together with another former Mercado Libre such as Nicolás Szekasy, sealed a capital injection in the Mexican Free Market that valued it in the order of US $ 1,000 million, a level known as unicorn and that allows it invest in e-commerce brands in Latin America, expand in Colombia and Brazil, with plans to open offices in Bogotá and São Paulo.

Hernánz Kazah was co-founder of Mercado Libre and now commands the Kaszek fund

Hernán Kazah was co-founder of Mercado Libre and now commands the Kaszek fund that has just been associated with the Galperín firm

To this he adds contributions and investments in another 60 companies, some of the largest in the region, such as NuBank, NotCo, the brand new unicorn Bitso, Digital House, Open English or Kavak.

In the last two months, the group has dedicated itself to closing a third fund for US $ 140 million to fund technology companies in general, especially e-commerce, marketplace platforms and fintech.

In fact, part of that money was directed to the first investment in Argentina after the landing andn Digital House, the programming school that was born in Belgrano and is carrying out an expansion plan in the country and the region.

The local firm obtained funding for US $ 60 million, which coincidentally also came from contributions from Free market, in addition to Globant and Riverwood Capital.

Beyond having shared the creation of Mercado Libre, Kazah and Galperin They met in Buenos Aires but deepened their friendship at Stanford University in the mid-90s where they began to shape what at that time they christened Latin eBay.

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