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Payments unicorn Mozido seeks new round or sale: sources

Mozido Inc, the mobile payments company once valued at more than $2 billion, is out fundraising and exploring a sale at the same time, two sources said.

It’s unclear how much Mozido is seeking. The Austin-based company has previously raised more than $300 million from high-profile investors including Google billionaire Eric Schmidt.

The company is 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 around the world.

The company has been active on the deal front. It acquired CoreFire last year and PayEase in 2014. It also invested in IdentityMind Global and SimplyTapp in 2015.

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

Earlier in 2014, Mozido raised $103.47 million in a Series A. Investors included Henry Duques, the former chairman and CEO of First Data, and Robert Turner, chairman of Turner Investments, according to SEC filings.

Tomorrow Ventures, the personal investment vehicle of Eric Schmidt, also invested in Mozido in April 2011, a statement from that time said.

Mozido is considered a so-called “unicorn,” a technology 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 has come under fire recently. In July, Forbes reported the company delayed making payroll five times since April, while its June 15 payroll was 10 days late. The company has 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 for comment.

Action Item: To contact Mozido call 512 518 2200.

Photo of Mozido founder Michael Liberty courtesy of Mozido’s website.