Green Loans, which can be accessed from a new module on the lend tab, is a new vertical that allows the Kiva community to make loans towards green businesses and individuals who are helping make the transition to cleaner and more efficient sources of energy. → Read More
The crowdsourced funding craze is picking up steam. Tonight we see the launch of 33needs, a site where socially-minded startups can raise initial seed funding from individual contributors on the Web. It is Kiva meets Kickstarter.
Social startups post their “needs” in terms of how much money they are looking to raise, what problems they are going to solve and how they are going to do it, along… → Read More
Last year, Kiva.org, one of the pioneers in micro-lending to international entrepreneurs, opened up its service to needy U.S. entrepreneurs, which caused some controversy. Since then, Kiva has facilitated more than $1 million in loans to U.S. small businesses. The new market has steadily gained its supporters, and today Kiva is launching a new partnership with Visa, that will help Kiva deliver… → Read More
Who is Kiva’s biggest competitor?
If you rattled off a list of non-profit-centric startups, the micro-lending site’s President Premal Shah would tell you that you’re dead wrong.
Try Zynga, the gaming behemoth that has given rise to Farmville and Mafia Wars and other disturbingly ubiquitous internet classics. What does virtual fertilizer have to do with micro-finance? Shah says a lot: It’s a… → Read More
The microfinance model has proved to be a valuable way to raise funds for entrepreneurs all over the country, as exemplified by the success of Kiva. Seattle-based Vittana is taking a similar approach to helping fund education in developing countries by allowing you to lend directly to students in the developing world. The idea is to bring student loans to the developing world through the power of… → Read More
Proving that microloans can help to change the world one little bit at a time, Kiva.org hit a major milestone today. Since it’s founding four years ago, it has now made possible $100 million in microloans between individual lenders and entrepreneurs all around the world. The company has brought together 573,000 lenders (people like you and me putting in $25 or more towards a specific project)… → Read More
For all the billions of dollars created here, Silicon Valley is remarkably stingy when it comes to giving. I first wrote about this when I moved here in the great Web 1.0 Internet bubble. Back then, as companies went public all around us, one-third of households earning $100,000 or more gave $1,000 or less to charity—roughly half what the rest of the U.S. gave per dollar earned. And those were… → Read More
When we reported on Kiva.org’s decision to open up its micro-lending platform to U.S. entrepreneurs, Kiva CEO Premal Shah told us he was concerned about backlash in the community. Shah acknowledged that the decision to open lending to U.S. recipients may draw criticism because it goes against the idea on which Kiva was founded—lending to help development in third world countries where credit… → Read More
The financial crisis has made a lasting impact on small businesses around the world and here at home in the United States. With the credit crunch creating a virtual standstill of lending, small businesses in the U.S. are facing an uphill battle to find funds, especially if their financial history isn’t stellar. Kiva.org, one of the web’s most interesting innovators in the micro-lending space, is… → Read More
Last night we released the finalist names for the Crunchies Awards. Vote here for who you think should win. We’ve set up a site that is pretty self-explanatory, with all of the names of each finalist for every category, along with links to their Websites and Crunchbase profiles where you can learn more about each one before voting. The Crunchies represents the best the Web had to offer in 2008… → Read More
The financial crisis in world markets over the past few weeks has been a real eye-opener, but even those of us who have seen our stock portfolios decline by 30 percent or more don’t have much to complain about. It could be worse. It could be a lot worse. A third of the world’s population lives in poverty, and 20 percent lives in extreme poverty, meaning they are always hungry.
What can you… → Read More
Despite sub-prime loan worries rocking the economy, peer-to-peer loans are gaining some traction. You’d think loans between individuals would be much riskier than loans from a bank, but it turns out that individuals can be more risk averse than banks when it comes to lending out money. If you look at Prosper, the leader in P2P lending with more than $100 million in loans out so far, only 7… → Read More
Peer to peer lending service Lending Club will close a $10.26 million series A round of financing from Norwest Venture Partners and Canaan Partners tomorrow. This comes a few months after the company’s $2 million angel round. Coinciding with the investment, Jeff Crowe and Dan Ciporin (former ceo of shopping.com) are joining Lending Club’s board of directors. Similar to other P2P… → Read More