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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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Indian national dies in ICE custody in Arizona

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Indian Man dies ICE

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — An Indian national died in Arizona near the California border while being held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the second person in a month to die at that location.

ICE officials said 21 year old Simratpal Singh was found unresponsive and not breathing while he awaited transfer to an ICE facility. ICE said earlier that day, Singh posted bond on charges of assault and sexual assault.

The Wadhwani Institute, led by Romesh and Sunil Wadhwani, won a $2M Google grant for an AI project which aims to help farmers control crop pests.

In Washington DC, Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla.

And Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate Chris Hughes, in an op-ed, called for the breakup of the social network.

Zoom Founder & CEO Eric Yuan, among other prominent tech scions, flocked to TiECON over the weekend. We have full coverage including our exclusive one on ones with some of the prominent leaders in Silicon Valley.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Blasts near major Sufi shrine in Lahore kills 10, wounds many

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Sufi Shrine bomb

LAHORE, Pakistan (Diya TV) — Pakistani police say a bomb targeting their forces guarding a Sufi shrine in Lahore killed at least ten people, with many more wounded. Among the dead are civilians, police officers and a security guard. Hundreds of people were nearby to mark Ramadan at the time of the explosion. The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack.

After the New York Times released details how President Trump lost roughly $1 billion in the 1980s and 1990s, more than nearly any other American, Trump took to Twitter to defend his approach, saying his use of tax shelters was a “sport.”

As the world celebrates his 150th birth anniversary, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney expects Mahatma Gandhi to be honored this year posthumously with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award.

And global digital payment network Mastercard says they will invest $1 billion in India over the next 5 years, roughly one-third of which will be spent to set up a local payment processing center.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs win $675K in discrimination suit

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs

DENVER (Diya TV) — A Colorado court ruled in favor of father and son restaurateurs Zuned & Rashad Khan to the tune of $675,000 after a landlord refused to sublease a restaurant space to them because they are Muslim.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Indian Minister of Commerce Suresh Prabhu met in New Delhi to talk trade and commerce. Bilateral ties between the nations grew more than 12% from 2017 to 2018.

In Sacramento, ten names of officers killed in the line of duty were added to the California Peace Officers’ memorial, including Corporal Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department.

And investing icon Warren Buffett said Gregory Able and Ajit Jain, who are both on the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors, would join him and business partner Charlie Munger on the stage to answer shareholder questions in the near future.

Jain is credited with being a driving force behind Berkshire Hathaway’s success in insurance.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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