Latin American e-commerce and classifieds giant Mercado Libre has announced a partnership with real estate crowdfunding platform SimpleState which will allow Argentinian investors to earn interest in U.S. dollars.
SimpleState's model is similar to players such as CityVest in the United States or Housers in Europe with small-scale real estate developers using the platform to source crowd financing.
As for potential investors, they are directed via a banner on Mercado Libre's real estate section to fill in a form with their details before receiving an assessment call. Once the potential investor has been vetted, they are free to invest as little as ARS 10,000 ($61) in the four real estate crowdfunding developments currently on the site.
The investments are then managed via SimpleState's platform and can be deposited via Mercado Libre's popular Mercado Pago digital payment platform.
A big part of the product's appeal is the possibility for investors to earn interest in U.S. dollars. Argentinian investors often look for investments which negate the inflation associated with the country's native currency with property in neighbouring Uruguay being particularly popular. SimpleState's model coupled with the marketing power, reach and payment solutions of Mercado Libre could be a potent mix.
Mercado Libre started in 1999 as a generalist classifieds ads and e-commerce platform and has since evolved to be one of the biggest companies in Latin America with a market cap of over 50 billion. The company recently recorded quarterly revenues of $2.7 billion fuelled in large part by its FinTech products - which the partnership with SimpleState will undoubtedly benefit from.