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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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Several killed in Kashmir border clash

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Kashmir

KASHMIR, India (Diya TV)  — New military clashes between Pakistan and India along the Kashmir border left several casualties on both sides. The Pakistani army confirmed the killing of two of its soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir. The Indian military confirmed the death of one of its officers and a civilian. Both sides allege the conflict was started by the other.

Raag Singhal, an Indian American circuit court judge in Broward County, Florida, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and will officially become a U.S. District Court judge in South Florida. It’s a lifetime appointment for Singhal, who will act as a trial judge in federal criminal and civil cases.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced Dr. Monisha Ghosh will become the FCC’s Chief Technology Officer, the first woman to serve in that role. Ghosh joins the FCC from the National Science Foundation where she was a program director and the University of Chicago, where she was a research professor.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Historic Sikh temple in Pakistan vandalized, destruction threatened

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Sikh Temple

NANKANA SAHIB, Pakistan (Diya TV)  — Communal tensions are high in Pakistan’s Punjab state after a fiery Muslim mob hurled stones and threatened to destroy the historic Sikh Temple Nankana Sahib Gurdwara, birthplace of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Pakistani officials say the situation is under control, and a large police presence is on site. But the men behind the demonstration say their goal is to eradicate Sikhs from the area.

On the order of President Trump, the American military killed Iran’s top military commander, Qassem Soleimani, in a missile strike at Baghdad airport. It’s a dramatic move by the Trump Administration who has been threatening action against Iran for their efforts to impede American operations in the Middle East. Iran’s President Rouhani said in reaction ‘we will take revenge’ and their foreign minister said “America’s action without any doubt is an act of state terrorism.” Democrats are up in arms at the move by Trump without Congressional approval. Trump responded by saying “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India’s new army chief reserves right to ‘preemptively strike’

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India’s new army chief reserves right to ‘preemptively strike’ | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV)  — The war of words over Kashmir heated up when India’s new Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said India reserves the right to “preemptively strike” at sources of terror along the Line of Control. Pakistan rejected the statement, saying they would thwart any Indian move.

The only Latino in the Democratic field, Julian Castro, is dropping out of the Presidential race suffering from poor support and a lack of funds to continue in earnest.

Manu Asthana begins the New Year as PJM Interconnection’s President and CEO, a nearly 100 year old power infrastructure business that serves 65 million Americans. But his hiring is not without criticism from consumer watchdogs over Asthana’s previous role as President of Direct Energy Home, accusing him of mismanagement. PJM defended their new hire saying those charges are “misleading” and “unfair.”

Pakistan announced their first batch of fighter jets manufactured with China is ready, celebrating with a group of Pakistani and Chinese officials on hand. The two nations also have a deal for commercial aircraft as well.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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