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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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Rep. Jayapal introduces bipartisan Kashmir resolution

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Jayapal

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Democratic Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal introduced bipartisan legislation in the House asking India to preserve religious freedom for all, reopen all communications & release those detained without charge in Jammu & Kashmir. Jayapal also celebrated the release of Dr. Mubeen Shah, a Kashmiri business leader who was detained, she was instrumental in helping. Meanwhile, the Indian government announced there is no movement restriction in Jammu & Kashmir, transportation services are normal, as are schools, government offices and courts. In addition, India says all landlines have been restored throughout the region, but broadband continues to be limited on mobile devices in Kashmir.

A 23 year old woman who was set on fire in Uttar Pradesh while heading to testify against her alleged rapists died in a New Delhi hospital burn unit. Police have the five suspects allegedly involved in the attack in custody.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Suspects in Hyderabad gang rape murder killed by police

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Suspects in Hyderabad gang rape murder killed by police | Diya TV News

Hyderabad, India (Diya TV)  — Four suspects in the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad were killed by police, who claim the four men were shot in self-defense. The action is drawing praise from the family of the victim but criticism from some lawmakers and civil rights groups.

Protests erupted in India this week seeking justice for this latest victim of sexual assault. Earlier in the week, a 23-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh heading to testify against a man who allegedly raped her multiple times was set on fire by a group of five men she says included her rapist, who was free on bail. She remains in critical condition.

In a terse letter denouncing impeachment proceedings, The White House signaled it does not intend to mount a defense of President Trump or otherwise participate in the House impeachment hearings. The decision by the administration likely accelerates the pace of impeachment. Hearings continue Monday.

Texas Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher introduced legislation to honor Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal’s memory by renaming a post office in Houston in his honor.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian rape survivor set on fire before trial testimony

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Rape

UNNAO, India (Diya TV)  — A 23-year-old woman in India heading to testify against a man who allegedly raped her multiple times was set on fire by a group of five men she says included her rapist, who was free on bail. Doctors at the Lucknow hospital she was brought to say she is in very serious condition, with burn injuries to 90% of her body. Local police say all five suspects are in custody. India’s National Commission for Women are seeking a detailed report regarding the number of reported heinous crimes committed against women and bail granted in such cases.

Nithyananda, a popular guru that faces charges of abduction and rape in India, announced he was establishing the Republic of Kailaasa on an island off the coast of Ecuador, which he claims will be the “world’s greatest and purest Hindu nation,” with promises of free education, free healthcare, free food and the revival of the temple based lifestyle, In addition to facing charges in Gujarat over multiple allegations, French authorities are investigating Nithyananda after one of his French devotees complained the guru had cheated him out of $400,000.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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