Year to date, shares of the e-commerce company have soared by 84.3% while hitting new all-time highs, giving the company a market capitalization of close to $56 billion.
COVID-19 has been a boon for the financial technology company as physical transactions are shunned and more people and businesses gravitate toward e-commerce and digital payments. MercadoLibre was already growing at a breakneck pace before the coronavirus hit, with net revenue growing 70% year over year for the first quarter of 2020 to $652 million, while consolidated gross merchandise volume grew 34% year over year. The number of items sold increased by 28% year over year in the first quarter. For Latin America, there's room for much more growth as e-commerce purchases hit a new all-time high in June, when 13 million consumers made an e-commerce purchase for the first time.
The company is not standing still, though. In late July, it launched a new debit, credit, and prepaid card reader for merchants called Point Plus. Point Plus reportedly offers greater autonomy for the merchant as they can make all the collections directly from the terminal, without the need for a cellphone. MercadoLibre is eliminating such pain points to endear more potential customers to it, as this solution is geared toward mostly small businesses and self-employed people.
MercadoLibre also announced that it will integrate PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) as a payment option in Brazil and Mexico. The integration allows consumers to use the PayPal on MercadoLibre's platform from anywhere in the world as long as the delivery destination is Brazil or Mexico. This move follows a partnership that the company sealed with PayPal back in December last year, and will help to expose MercadoLibre to a larger international audience.
Early this month, the company forged a partnership between Mercado Pago, its fintech and payments arm, and Telefonica Brasil, a telecommunications company in Brazil. This deal means that prepaid and hybrid plan customers of the telco who are also holders of Mercado Pago's digital wallet will be able to top up their cards using their Mercado Pago accounts.
These numerous partnerships and collaborations will help to expand the company's reach and enable it to garner a larger customer base. In turn, these new customers will drive higher merchandise and payment volumes through MercadoLibre's platform, allowing the company to generate further growth.