MercadoLibre: The eBay of Latin America

Since going public in August, its stock price has shot up 148%. The e-commerce site has copied eBay's successescan it avoid the U.S. site's mistakes?

Marcos Galperin took a wrong turn that ultimately put his company on the map. It was 1999 and the 26-year-old business-school student had scored the meeting of a lifetime: an audience with John Muse, co-founder of billion-dollar private equity firm HM Capital Partners. Galperin was asked to chauffeur Muse to the investor's private plane, and hoped to use the drive time to sell Muse on his idea for a Latin American e-commerce site.

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