Latin America’s leading e-commerce firm MercadoLibre has unveiled yet another software development center in the Argentine city of Cordoba. The center, built at the cost of around US$1.5 million, doubles the number of software engineers the company has in the city, where it currently employs 130 people.
MercadoLibre came to own its first technology development center in Cordoba in 2013 when it acquired the city’s IT start-up Neosur. By then, the e-commerce firm was already running two software centers in the capital Buenos Aires and San Luis.
Nearly two years ago, MercadoLibre’s CTO Daniel Rabinovich told Nearshore Americas that the company considers technology key to its success. “Each year the company spends between 5% and 7% of its income on technology investment, and it has 300 IT professionals who develop all the software for the platform in-house,” said Rabinovich.
MercadoLibre needs software centers to observe the latest trends and develop innovative new software and technology for its business. In 2011, MercadoLibre opened a US$1 million R&D center in Silicon Valley and has since focused on building an ecosystem around the company and opened its platform to third parties to stimulate both internal and external innovation.
The company’s open application planning interface (API) enables independent developers to create apps compatible with MercadoLibre and MercadoPago that enhance the user experience and improve operations between buyers and sellers.
Listed in NASDAQ, MercadoLibre is an Argentine multinational with presence in 14 countries, more than 132 million registered users, and more than 2,000 employees. The company is hopping to hire 300 more new technology professionals by the end of this year.
The e-commerce site says it feels very comfortable in Cordoba, where it wants to train university students in software development. “One way to grow is to bridge the gap between universities and businesses, giving opportunities to the guys who do not have much work experience to join the workforce,” said Eleonora Cuenca, head of Human Resources department at MercadoLibre.
Despite the economic crisis at home, MercadoLibre has been growing across Latin America. In 2006, it launched operations in Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Two years later, it acquired DeRemate operations across the region, including in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil. Last year, MercadoLibre bought up another Argentine software firm Bvision, which develops software — mainly mobile apps — for wide-ranging industries, including telecom, technology and financial service firms.