Announcing Open VC4A Venture Data

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VC4Africa launches an API making it possible to embed public venture data from the startup funding platform on external websites, display subsets of venture data and more.

VC4A is often thought of as a startup finance platform, but at our core we’re really an organization that’s using technology to help entrepreneurs realize their full potential. When you think of VC4A the first thing that comes to mind is probably our member facing website. However, that’s only one side of our story. As our community and database of ventures continues to grow, we’re increasingly able to extract meaningful information and identify key trends that span the continent. Our recently published research breaks down these insights across five areas: employment, performance, investments, investors and influencing factors.

As a nexus for a large volume of entrepreneurial activity, we’re in a unique position to crowdsource primary data on the African venture space. We’re also committed to organizing this data and making it more accessible. To that end, I’m excited to announce that our venture data is now open and available to anyone with an interest in exploring it.

Making data interoperable

A key feature of open data is interoperability, or the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together. In this case, it’s the ability to interoperate—or intermix—different datasets. One of the best ways to promote this intermixing is by publishing (developers often use the term “exposing”) datasets via an application programming interface, or API. In simple terms, APIs are sets of requirements that govern how one application can talk to another. APIs make possible a sprawling number of “mashups,” in which developers mix and match data from a vast array of providers to create entirely new consumer apps and services. In a similar fashion, open data provided by governments andinstitutions can increase transparency, promote participatory governance and create both social and economic value.

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