In late October, eyebrows were raised when mobile payments startup Mozido raised $185 million from the likes of MasterCard, Wellington Management Co., and His Royal Highness Sheik Nahyan, who is kind of a big deal in the United Arab Emirates.
The company seemed to have come out of nowhere, but Mozido was launched back in 2005. In 2014, however. it has garnered around $290 million of its $309 million total funding. Based in Austin, Texas, the company focuses on delivering mobile solutions to the underbanked, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Here’s how the company describes itself:
Mozido provides mobile solutions for merchants, CPGs, financial institutions and government agencies. Mozido’s solutions provide access to services such as bill payments, airtime top-up, person-to-person payments, merchant payments, loyalty programs, direct deposit of government payments, and customized marketing— all from the convenience of a basic SMS-based mobile device or a smartphone.
Mozido is focusing on the 2.5 billion people with feature phones across the globe who are looking to interact and transact via SMS, but is still scoring wins in loyalty with U.S. merchants such as Dairy Queen, which it signed in the summer of 2013. (Check out the MyDQ app to see Mozido’s whitelabel solution in action.)
Perhaps more importantly, Mozido has partnered with MasterCard on a number of initiatives to serve the underbanked, including the hybrid ID/prepaid card launched in Oakland, Calif. Mozido can ride MasterCard rails, and, therefore, has wide acceptance at points of sale across the globe. Mozido also uses MasterCard’s card top-up services and person-to-person payments, as well as a number of other payment services for the international market from MasterCard.
Mozido also worked with the Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union to make a national mobile wallet available to all citizens, a representative from the company said.