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In the late 1990s, equity investor John Muse from Hicks Muse Capital was invited by legendary professor Jack McDonald to speak to the Stanford Graduate School of Business students.

After the talk and a generous lunch with professor McDonald, John Muse needed a ride to the airport to catch his private plane.

A young MBA student from Argentina volunteered to drive him back to his private plane.

He then proceeded to use the journey to pitch a business idea, and by the time they got to the airport where Muse's jet was parked, the private equity magnate had agreed to come on board.

The student is Marcos Galperin and the story of that car ride is the story of MercadoLibre, Latin America'a biggest tech company.

After that conversation, Galperin raised the rest of the round, moved back to Argentina, and in 199 MercadoLibre was officially launched from garage in Buenos Aires (yes, I know it's cliché).

MercadoLibre is an auction and e-commerce platform that facilitates transactions between individuals or businesses. The company has 6,000 employees, operates in 18 countries and posted US$2.3 billion in revenue in 2019.

Think a cooler version of eBay but in Latin America.

Earlier this week, MercadoLibre announced quarterly earnings with fantastic results, propelling its market cap to $37.8 billion.

Here's Spotify and Twitter for scale.

Europe looks at the US with a mix of greed and admiration and at China with a mix of confusion and fear.

But there's more going on, particularly below the Equator.

Today's Seedtable is on the lessons Europe's technology ecosystem can learn from Latin America's biggest tech company.

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