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Entrepreneur receives $500,000 app investment

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Struggling to balance the coexistence of a work and family life, Avni Patel left her swanky corporate job in 2015 in favor creating her own idea, and starting her own company—now, she has received an angel investment north of $500,000 in funding to develop her idea into an app.

“Poppy,” a childcare platform, has already launched in Seattle, and is reportedly anticipated to go national. Patel got the idea to create the platform while working at a startup in corporate branding—while preparing for an event, she suddenly realized she’d forgotten to book a babysitter for her two small children. After rushing through her usual list of candidates and having no luck, she broke a sacred rule of parenting: asking for the service of her friends’ babysitters.

Poppy founder, Anvi Patel

Poppy founder, Anvi Patel

As you might have guessed, Patel still had no luck.

“It baffled me that in this day and age every family was on their own in this most fundamental area,” Patel said. “Every family was inefficiently trying to find their own sitters that they hoarded zealously, lest they be stuck without care when they needed it.”

Poppy was born.

She cut ties with startup No. 1, and began developing the on-demand childcare platform in its place. Poppy curates a list of verifiable and trusted child caregivers, by neighborhood, so that when parents are in need, it becomes as simple as accessing a roster of qualified talent. From there, parents can make contact with the caregiver via text, or the Poppy app.

Patel recently closed a round of funding, drawing $589,305 from multiple Seattle-area investors, Madrona Venture Group, and Y Combinator. As mentioned previously, Poppy is already active in several Seattle neighborhoods, serving from Wedgwood to West Seattle and Queen Anne. Next week, the app will expand its network, and begin servicing the Eastside area, starting with Bellevue and Sammamish, according to GeekWire.

“We built out the Poppy platform that allowed us to continue to grow, while maintaining the highest standards in childcare vetting in the industry,” Patel said. “What started as a test now has the chance to be something that solves childcare for parents around the country and I am so incredibly excited about that.”

Patel knows babysitting is a serious business—parents won’t assign their children to just anyone, and she said Poppy uses a rigorous system to vet candidates before they are placed on the roster of available caregivers. Applicants are required to have at minimum, five years of childcare experience, pass a video interview screening, and be able to provide three references, all before landing an in-person interview. Once the screening process is complete, providers are trained in CPR and first aid.

If you are already living in neighborhoods serviced by Poppy, rates for babysitters are as follows: $16 per hour for one child, $17 per hour for two children, and so on, and so forth.

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Ex-Minneapolis cop charged with George Floyd’s murder

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Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (Diya TV) — One of the Minneapolis police officers fired for their role in the death of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd died after he was pinned to the ground by those officers, with Chauvin keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The other officers are under investigation, but no charges were announced. The arrest comes after a night of tumult in Minneapolis, where a police station and new housing project were burned down and stores were looted.

Protests that were largely limited to Minneapolis this week have now spread around the nation. From New York to Atlanta, Washington to San Jose, thousands of people outraged over Floyd’s death have taken to the streets. While gatherings started as peace expressions of grief, many of them have turned violent.

President Trump announced there will be a federal investigation over Floyd’s death. But he’s also caused controversy with a tweet quoting George Wallace that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in reaction to the fires set in Minneapolis.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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In Oval Office, Trump offers personal mediation to India-China

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Trump

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) —  President Trump, when asked in the Oval Office to comment on the growing India-China border dispute, said he would be happy to mediate any issues between the two nations. Trump added he spoke to Prime Minister Modi and claims Modi “is not in a good mood about what’s going on with China.”

The U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum normally holds events at high-end hotels. But this time out, their West Coast Summit brought dignitaries together virtually, featuring speakers like Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and FedEx President Raj Subramaniam to discuss the growing U.S.-India relationship.

The Indian government is allowing Indian Americans with Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards to return. They had restricted such travel as part of India’s strict lockdown two months ago.

And bad weather delayed a landmark U.S. trip into space by NASA and SpaceX. It was to be the first space mission with astronauts aboard powered by a private company. Instead, they will aim to lift off once again on Saturday.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Somber milestone: 100,000 Americans lost to COVID-19

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COVID-19

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Three months into the pandemic, America hit a grim milestone — 100,000 dead in the U.S. at the hands of COVID-19. Cases continue to rise in 14 states, including California. 1.7 million Americans are now afflicted with COVID-19.

In a tweet, President Trump chimed into the growing India-China border dispute, offering to have American officials meditate to keep the peace. China already has ongoing rifts with Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet — regions with underlying calls for independence. And there are many asking for American intervention in those matters. We’ll analyze all of these movements.

Peaceful protests have turned into riots in Minneapolis after the senseless killing of George Floyd by police. The four officers involved have been fired. And now Minneapolis’ mayor wants criminal charges for 44 year old Derek Chauvin, the now fired officer who suffocated Floyd to death while onlookers screamed for him to stop.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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