VC-backed Mozido seeks another round and/or sale: sources

Mozido Inc, the mobile-payments company that raised more than $300 million from high-profile investors including Google billionaire Eric Schmidt, is out fundraising, two sources said.

How much Mozido is seeking is unclear. The Austin, Texas, company also is pursuing a sale, the sources said. “It’s a dual process,” one of the sources said. Mozido is working with Houlihan Lokey, the sources said.

Mozido developed a digital wallet for people with mobile phones who don’t have bank accounts. The company said its platform “unlocks financial freedom” for about 2 billion people worldwide. It’s been active: It acquired CoreFire last year and PayEase in 2014. Mozido also invested in IdentityMind Global and SimplyTapp in 2015.

Founded by Michael Liberty in 2008, Mozido raised $337 million in funding, according to Preqin. In October 2014, Mozido collected $185 million from investors including MasterCard, Wellington Management, HRH Sheikh Nahyan of the UAE and Julian Robertson, chairman and CEO of Tiger Management, a statement said.

Earlier that year, Mozido raised $103.5 million in a Series A. Investors included Henry Duques, former chairman and CEO of First Data, and Robert Turner, chairman of Turner Investments, according to SEC filings. Tomorrow Ventures, Schmidt’s personal investment vehicle, also invested in Mozido in April 2011, a statement from that time said.

Mozido is considered a unicorn, a tech startup valued at $1 billion or more. The company ranked 53rd on Fortune’s 2016 Unicorn list with a $2.4 billion valuation.

The company recently has come under fire. In July, Forbes reported the company delayed making payroll five times since April, while its June 15 payroll was 10 days late. The company had yet to pay out end-of-year-2015 bonuses to employees, Forbes said.

Executives for Houlihan and Wellington declined comment. Mozido, Mastercard, Robertston, Duques, HRH Sheikh Nahyan and Tomorrow Ventures could not be reached.

Action Item: Contact Mozido: +1 512-518-2200.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is seen at a media briefing upon his arrival from North Korea at Beijing Capital International Airport on Jan. 10, 2013. Photo courtesy Reuters/Petar Kujundzic