Afternoon Coffee: Scout RFP Appoints New CRO and CTO, Kira Systems Receives $50 Million Series A

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Scout RFP, a provider of e-sourcing software, announced Wednesday it added two new members to its executive team, according to a press release. Jerry Brooner, former vice president of enterprise sales at Dropbox, is joining Scout as chief revenue officer, and Sarvesh Mathur is taking the role of CTO and vice president of engineering.

See how Scout RFP compares with other sourcing vendors: Check out the Q3 2018 Sourcing SolutionMap

"Throughout my career, I've always aspired to join teams who aspire to build both innovative products and deep respectful relationships with their customers," said Brooner. "At Scout, I'm excited for the challenge ahead and the opportunity to build on my experiences scaling a world-class sales organization at both Dropbox and SAP. Scout bridges the best of both those organizations, and I'm already impressed with the talent across the team here."

"Technology's most important role in the enterprise is to enable teams to work more effectively and to accelerate our ability to make good decisions," said Mathur. "I'm inspired by the potential that Scout has already built into the platform, and I look forward to injecting even more innovation into our core engine."

Kira Investment 

Contract analytics software vendor Kira Systems announced Wednesday it had received a $50 million minority investment from Insight Venture Partners, according to a press release. Kira’s solution uses machine learning to automatically identify and extract relevant information from contracts and other related documents. The company plans to use the funding to further develop its software and expand deeper into the professional services and corporate markets.

“Kira Systems’ performance as a bootstrapped business has been impressive, and we’re eager to partner with them to more aggressively pursue growth,” said Peter Sobiloff, managing director at Insight. “We don’t see many pure-play AI businesses with their traction, and this success has come from the fact that Kira is fundamentally changing how contracts are reviewed. This represents an opportunity to make a meaningful impact across their core market segments.”

Toyota Recall 

Toyota is recalling more than a million Prius and C-HR vehicles globally due to a risk of fire, Bloomberg reports. As engine wires connected to the power control unit wear over time, they could lead to a short circuit or even a fire, the company said in a statement. The recall affects 554,000 cars in Japan and 192,000 in the U.S.

Trade Deficit

And finally, an economic update: The U.S. trade deficit increased 9.5% to $50.1 billion in July, a five-month high, Reuters reports. While the Trump administration’s current tariff agenda is attempting to narrow the trade deficit, economists told Reuters that the earlier tax cut package may have harmed that effort, as increased consumer and business spending have drawn in additional imports.

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