Latin American e-commerce company MercadoLibre (Nasdaq: MELI) expects to see the first agreements through its newly opened R&D office in Silicon Valley, California, in three or four months, the company's CEO Juan Martín de la Serna told BNamericas.
Total investment reached US$1mn for the new facility, which initially will have a staff of five, the company said.
"We decided to open this office because we have a very close relationship with several companies in Silicon Valley. However we needed to be there in order to have a more fluent relationship," the executive said. "With this new office we will be able to accelerate the learning processes and close agreements with local companies, whose developments could be interesting for our business."
"The idea is to see the software and the technologies [being developed] there," De la Serna added.
MercadoLibre is also opening its technology for third companies to develop functionalities to improve the operations between online buyers and sellers. "Any development which could be useful for us will be interesting. This could be mobile applications or payment solutions, among other things."
The new office will be located in Palo Alto and will be led by Rodrigo Benzaquen.
Founded in 1999, MercadoLibre is a regional e-commerce technology company. Through its primary platforms, MercadoLibre.com and MercadoPago.com, it provides solutions to individuals and companies buying, selling, advertising and paying for goods online.
In Latin America, the firm has operations in 12 countries and employs 1,600 people across the region. It also operates in Portugal.