Enigma Launches A New Developer Program That Gives API Access To Civic-Minded Hackers

It’s been a very busy few months since the Enigma team took home the Disrupt Cup back in New York, and co-founder Hicham Oudghiri took the stage here in San Francisco today to deliver an update on the company’s trajectory… and unveil a new program for developers looking to turn raw public data into something seriously valuable.

Despite how much it’s grown these past few months, Enigma hasn’t forgotten about the civic-minded hackers striving to create something compelling with access to public data. To that end, Oudghiri pulled back the curtain on a new developer program that will see the company offer full access to the Enigma APIs in a bid to give back to the transparent data community. For better or worse, though, it’s not going to be a free-for-all — interested developers can apply for access through October 15, at which point the Enigma team will pick its favorite pitches and give them access to that firehose of public data.

But why API access? It’s partially a gesture of goodwill to a community that concerns itself with public improvement through data, but it’s also a reflection of the shifting priorities within Enigma as a whole. The team’s early pitches were centered around pitching the Enigma data de-obfuscator as an investigative tool meant for journalists and financial intelligence firms — early buy-in from the New York Times and S&P Capital IQ made Enigma’s value as SaaS play pretty apparent.

These days though, Enigma is prominently positioning itself as a platform that offers access to all the data that it’s been able to unearth so far, and Oudghiri was quick to point out that the lion’s share of the company’s business has come from opening up API access to that stream of public information.

“It’s not just about search and discovery anymore,” Oudghiri said. “Well, it is, but it’s also about using this data in applications that make things way more efficient.” That’s not to say that Enigma is planning to give up that pay-per-seat SaaS approach (Oudghiri tells me the company has “tripled the number of web seats we’ve sold”), but the addition of some major API clients like Stanford University means that Enigma can spend a little less time signing up clients for its investigative service.

Granted, it’s not a whole lot of extra time, but the Enigma team is using it to collaborate with a handful of partners to demonstrate the power of this data. It recently teamed up with Chart.io to shine some light on H1B visas, and with this new developer program, Enigma wants to see what the rest of the community can do.