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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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Puneet Talwar named US Ambassador to Morocco

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – The US State Department announced that diplomat Puneet Talwar is its new ambassador to Morocco. President Biden proposed Talwar as the new nominee last March. The new ambassador to Morocco has a rich portfolio in diplomacy. The diplomat is currently a senior adviser to the State Department.

Six men have been arrested for the gang rape and murder of two girls. Police say one of them is a neighbor and the remaining five are Muslims from a nearby village – although it’s not believed to be a religious crime.

As Pakistan continues to deal with historic flooding a new report published in Vice says the country collected $40 million for a mega dam on the Indus river, but spent $63 million on advertising it. The crowdsourced campaign was  launched by a Supreme Court judge and endorsed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. It’s now at the center of a massive controversy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian & Hindu American groups hold DC summit

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) – A group of Indian American and Hindu American organizations joined forces to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day and advocate for the diaspora on Capitol Hill, in what is being called an inaugural summit for political engagement. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Hindu American Foundation, the Coalition of Hindus of North America and Americans4Hindus, were among the more than one dozen organizations, hosting legislators from both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan effort to discuss issues of concern in the community. 
 
Indian American economist Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been named White House Coordinator for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at the National Economic Council. 
 
Fans of Indian comedian and actor Raju Srivastava are mourning his death. He passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack last month while running on a treadmill. He had a history of heart problems. 
 
Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.
 
 

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Sukhpal Singh arrested in Tusli Mandir hate crime case

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) – New York police arrested a man for allegedly sledgehammering a statue of Gandhi outside a Queens Hindu Shri Tusli Mandir. Twenty seven year old Sukhpal Singh is charged with criminal mischief and a hate crime for allegedly destroying the statue and defacing it with spray paint outside Tulsi Mandir in Richmond Hill last month. 

India and France agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific partnership to roll out development projects, expand strategic cooperation, and work closer to deal with pressing global challenges such as a food crisis triggered by the Ukraine invasion. 

More than a million customers in Puerto Rico are waiting for electricity to come back on after Hurricane Fiona hammers the region. The Dominican Republic is under a hurricane warning as well. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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