KivaEarlier this month I wrote about a new type of lending and investing service called “Micro Finance” which enables anyone to make a small investment and help end poverty.  The blog post I wrote about was an eBay organization called MicroPlace

Today, a similar service called Kiva.org released an interesting API that allows outside developers to connect to their database and build applications around their data.

Web Services and API’s are nothing new… companies like Google, Amazon, and eBay have been integrating them into their services for years.  However, this is the first time I’ve seen a non-profit organization open up their data for outside developers.

Here’s a few examples of the types of data available through this service:

  • all of the loans at Kiva currently raising funds
  • all of the entrepreneurs from Uganda and Peru which have fully repaid their loans
  • the latest lending activity on Kiva
  • financial nitty-gritty for any of our loans
  • the list of loans made by any one of Kiva’s lenders with a public lender page

API’s can be a very successful way of extending the brand and reach of an application and I’m extremely pleased to see Kiva embrace this type of model.  It will be interesting to see what developers create.