With an at least partial return of an in-person workforce, commuting has crept back up to its previous pace. Somewhat predictably, this has led to a parallel rise in demand for the various subsectors of parking services. Recently, a few deals in this segment caught my attention.

Funds advised by private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners have entered into exclusive negotiations with Astorg and Mellby Gård for the acquisition of Flowbird, a provider of technology and payment services for parking and transport ticketing.

“We look forward to leveraging our experience and expertise to help accelerate the many opportunities ahead, including the roll-out of their Platform-as-a-Service and open payment offerings as well as pursuing M&A,” says Searchlight partner Francois Dekker about the deal.

Meanwhile, Nexa Equity, a private equity firm focused on scaling lower middle market software and fintech businesses, has made a majority growth investment in AutoReturn, a provider of towing and parking enforcement software.

“AutoReturn’s platform has the ability to transform how law enforcement, parking enforcement, towers and vehicle owners connect to make roadways safer, reduce wait times and curtail secondary accidents,” Vlad Besprozvany, founder and managing partner at Nexa Equity, tells Mergers & Acquisitions. “Our data shows a significant rebound in the number of cars commuting to offices in large cities since the pandemic first started, and as such, technologies focused on making the transportation sector safer and more efficient are more relevant than ever.”

Finally, Access Control Systems and Brixey & Meyer Capital have acquired Access Security Parking Integrated Systems. Headquartered in Atlanta, ASPIS is an installer of parking access and revenue control systems. The shared theme of these deals is that they are addressing the various needs that surround managing and maintaining parking access. They seem to point in the direction of a potential boom.

I expect to see a continuation of this trend, particularly as companies explore their options for a safe return to the office. In light of this, it may be worth checking the expiration date on your parking pass.

-John Melendez