In 2021 KIVA disbursed $613,699 each day, $25,571 every hour or $426 per minute across 65 countries

 

Kiva is one of the most pioneering nonprofits in recent times. Founded by two Stanford alums, Jessica Jackley Flannery & Matt Flannery, the nonprofit is the world’s first online peer-to-peer microfinance marketplace. Kiva envisions a financially inclusive world where all people hold the power to improve their lives. The company innovates through its crowdfunding platform empowering underserved entrepreneurs with a focus on women entrepreneurs. To date, the company boasts that 81 percent of its loans are utilized for women entrepreneurs.
Inspired by Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Foundation fame, the Kiva founders established a thought-leading platform facilitating direct interaction between people to fund businesses. The nonprofit started with a focus on Africa, and despite its share of missteps, the repayment rate averages 96.4 percent, an outstanding record on the back of $1.5 billion in funding. With donations as low as $25, the Kiva marketplace empowers retail clients through a partnership-driven and direct outreach model.

Kiva partners with accredited microfinance institutions/nonprofits/ social enterprises to fund microloans enabling social change and impact. In the partnership model, the company charges fees to partners. Partners, for example, microfinance institutions, charge an interest rate for the loans to compensate for their administrative work for underwriting, due diligence, etc. Kiva is not the first company to use peer-to-peer technology, remember, Napster and Sean Parker. But Kiva is the first company to effectively leverage technology for financial inclusion with a measured impact. The company innovated by keeping its overheads low and earning through various channels. For example, Kiva earns a small interest amount on its float.  This is possible due to the monthly disbursement of funds to the customer’s account leading to time lag that benefits Kiva to earn interest on the float. 1 The company also offers zero interest rates to entrepreneurs, however the underwriting rules for direct loan mechanism are more stringent compared to the partnership model. Kiva Marketplace mobilized $223 million of loans in 2021, a 76 percent increase over 2020, a major achievement for the crowdfunding platform.

 

Kiva presentation slide | The middle Road 

Over the years, Kiva innovated and started Kiva Capital to channel institutional capital. Started in 2021, Kiva Capital has $134 million in committed capital, enabling $67 million of loans in 2021 alone. A concentric diversification, Kiva Capital builds on the image of Kiva as an impact investor. Building on its existing legacy, Kiva collaborates with highly sophisticated investors example multilateral banks and other impact investors to enable financial inclusion among the underserved. Kiva Capital is excellent for the financial innovation that Kiva is driving through Kiva Labs.

Kiva’s success in crowdfunding is not alone. Over the years many organizations that use crowdfunding platforms for various feel-good initiatives have emerged globally, significantly Kickstarter. Kiva’s success is a superlative feat in leveraging technology for social good, keeping in mind the exponential power of the internet in driving financial inclusion. 

 

References

  1. Stanford Graduate Business School: Kiva
  2. Kiva.org
  3. Kiva | Kiva Capital
  4. The Kiva Online Platform Case Study ILO

Kiva image screenshot

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