Separation Anxiety


Mar 02, 2019



Mar 02, 2019



As merchants bring their businesses online, they need to accept consumer payments, extend loans to potential purchasers, and even provide insurance. As a result, in many emerging markets regions such as Latin America and Southeast Asia, the development of the fintech scene has occurred in tandem with the rise of e-commerce platforms.

But when does it make sense for these fintech payments plays to break apart from their ecommerce counterparts?

Investors in LatAm ecommerce giant, MercadoLibre, are asking just that.

MercadoLibre’s payments businesses, MercadoPago, is driving a tremendous amount of growth with payments transactions up 72% year over year, to a total payment volume (TPV) of $5.3bn. And off-line payments are now overtaking the on-platform business, as e-commerce sites and brick-and-mortar retailers adopt MercadoPago as the preferred payment method.

The path for the payments darling to split from the e-commerce anchor was paved long ago when investors and analysts initiated PayPal’s split from Ebay in 2015. While hitched to Ebay, PayPal fell behind in smartphone-based payments. But following the split, PayPal flourished, adding nearly $65b of enterprise value to the standalone company.

While a break up is never easy, sometimes it’s just the right thing for everyone….


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