One of the really interesting things about the internet is the way that the data which is thrown off creates new and exciting businesses that simply could not have existed before. One such case was brought to my attention by an article in Bloomberg Businessweek about startup Kabbage.
Kabbage – named after the slang name for money – has a clever risk model that analyses data from sites like eBay, Amazon and Yahoo! such as transaction history and user ratings to produce a creditworthiness score.
By doing this they are able to advance money to small traders (they are not a bank so they can’t loan) who otherwise would fail traditional financial services criteria.
This is exactly the kind of brand new business (Kiva is another example) entirely made possible by the essential characteristics of the web.