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Whole Foods invests in Instacart at 2014 valuation

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Whole Foods

Whole Foods are investing in the grocery delivery company Instacart.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — As more Whole Foods customers began to avoid the store and get their deliveries to their front door, the high-end supermarket chain is taking a stake in the four-year-old startup.

The company authorized the sale of new equity earlier this year, letting Whole Foods Market Inc. buy shares in the startup in conjunction with an expanded partnership, said people familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Analysis by private stock market operator Equidate, based on a regulatory filing, pegged the total equity authorization at about $36 million.

The shares added to Instacart’s previous funding round at the same share price from late 2014, which valued the company at about $2 billion, according to the filing.

Before the Whole Foods investment, the San Francisco-based startup had raised more than $270 million. Instacart and its peers have benefited from a shift in an overcrowded food delivery market this year. Grocery delivery startups have received more investor dollars than companies that deliver prepared meals, a reversal from previous years, according to research firm CB Insights.

However, as the fundraising market becomes more competitive overall, startups are making cuts and emphasizing how close they are to supporting themselves with their own earnings. Instacart is no exception: Apoorva Mehta, the startup’s chief executive officer, said on stage this month at a TechCrunch conference that his company will be cash-flow positive in the next 12 months. He also dismissed questions about whether Instacart would sell to Whole Foods. “It just doesn’t make sense for us to even think about selling to a grocery store,” Mehta said.

Whole Foods and Instacart first partnered services on a delivery program in 2014 and has since expanded to more than 25 markets across the U.S. It allows customers to order food and other products directly from the Whole Foods website and have them delivered.

Grocery delivery is a key initiative as Whole Foods tries to claw its way out of its biggest sales slump since 2009. As conventional grocers have expanded their organic offerings and pushed prices down, Whole Foods has suffered under the weight of its reputation for being overpriced. That’s added pressure on the grocer to make its shopping experience more convenient.

“With more outlets for natural and organic foods, they don’t drive as far, and they don’t come as frequently,” John Mackey, the co-CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, said during a presentation in June. “They just want convenience as the overriding value. I think that Whole Foods wants to compete for those customers to be sure, and we have a lot of things in the works.”

Walter Robb, the other CEO, said on a recent earnings call: “We feel really good about the partnership with Instacart and the results we’re seeing.”

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India may offer to cut import duties, for U.S. goods

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India

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India has a road map in place to spend $130 billion over the next 5-7 years to modernize their armed forces and bolster their combat capabilities over their neighbors. The plan includes procurement of a slew of weapons, missiles, air defense systems, fighter jets, submarines and developing infrastructure for use of AI.

Meanwhile, India and Russia are increasing industrial cooperation and will create new technological and investment partnerships, especially in high-tech, with the goal to increase bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2025.

And to help Indian’s space agency ISRO establish a communication link with Vikram, the moon lander lying motionless on the lunar surface, NASA is sending hello messages. NASA’s Jet Propulsion lab beamed a radio frequency to Vikram to establish contact, but no luck so far.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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FBI: Amity CEO Ridhima Singh, others accused of major healthcare fraud

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The FBI says, CEO Ridhima Singh of Amity Home Health Care is among the 28 people, that include doctors and nurses, accused in the scheme. Federal prosecutors charged the Bay Area’s largest home health care provider, Amity Home Health Care, with involvement in a kickback scheme that led to $115 million in tainted claims. The complaint said medical professionals received $8 million worth of bribes disguised as payroll, phony medical directorships, reimbursements, entertainment or gifts, in what the Department of Justice said was simply “a cash for patients scheme.”

The man accused of stabbing and killing 62 year old Parmjit Singh in Tracy made his first court appearance. 21 year old Anthony Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy pleaded not guilty of homicide during his arraignment. Police are still investigating the motive behind the crime.

And Priyanka Chopra & her husband Nick Jonas were named by People Magazine as their pick for ‘Best Dressed of the Year.’

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi blasts Boris Johnson for ‘racist remarks’

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Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

LONDON (Diya TV) —  In London, the first-ever Sikh Member of Parliament, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, received a round of applause from his colleagues after demanding an apology from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for making “derogatory and racist remarks” on Muslim women wearing burqas. Johnson rebuffed the claim and did not respond to the statement directly.

Mountain View Police arrested 50 year old Reenu Saini and her four friends for allegedly staging a home invasion to evict tenants from her investment property. When that didn’t work, police say the group shut off the home’s power and tried to open the door.Saini is charged with attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, conspiracy to commit a crime and unlawfully shutting off power to a home

Judge Raag Singhal was nominated to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. And Jones Day partner Shireen Matthews was nominated to serve as Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

And Silicon Valley AI analytics startup Thoughtspot, which is led by CEO Sudheesh Nair and founded by a group of Indian Americans, raised $248 million at a $1.95 billion valuation.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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