MercadoLibre Overstates Active Users by 104.5 Million, or 87%
Latin American ecommerce platform waits one year to make a correction in the footnotes.
November 5, 2022
One year ago, MercadoLibre (MELI) reported it had 224.5 million unique active users in the nine months ended September 30, 2021, boasting the metric made it the largest online commerce ecosystem in Latin America. The company reported unique active users had nearly doubled, growing 99.5% over the same period.

Turns out the key metric was overstated by 87%.

Instead of 224.5 million unique active users, MercadoLibre had just 120 million, indicating YoY user growth had increased just 6.6%, not nearly doubling as originally disclosed.

Prior to its latest quarterly filing, MercadoLibre had at least three chances to correct the error but did not do so.

The error was made in the company’s third quarter 2021 report filed with the SEC in November 2021. The company did not correct the error four months later when it filed its annual report February 23, 2022. Nor did it correct the error in the two subsequent quarterly filings.

The company waited a year to correct the error— when the current year 9-month unique activer user total of 127 million would appear as if it had plunged YoY— calling the mistake a “calculation error.”

The latest 10-K does contain what appears to be an accurate year-end 2021 unique active user count, suggesting the company had discovered the error on or before February 23, 2022, the date the 10-K was filed.

DuDil has contacted MercadoLibre to better understand when the mistake was discovered and why it wasn’t corrected in prior filings. We’ll update members when new information is developed.
Related: CPNG, AMZN, ETSY, EBAY, BABA, JD, PDD, WMT
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