I spent the last two weeks attending two major trade events, and I’ll tell you, If you want to hear rumors about the Parking Business PIE and Intertraffic were the places to be. I’ll give you a short summary.
Clyde Wilson and his “Flow” product is receiving $25 million in venture capital from three VC firms, all headquartered in silicon valley. Clyde was reticent to name names as the check hadn’t quite cleared the bank yet, but the influx of cash will mean that his “ticketless” product will hit the streets big time at the IPI next month.
Christine Banning hotly denied that the NPA was in final discussions with the IPI and that they would be taking over the larger organization effective with the close of the IPI’s 2014 annual conference. Board members from both organizations were mum, but off the record conversations gave some credence to the rumors. I had dinner in Amsterdam with NPA Prez Jeff Wolfe and he flatly refused to confirm or deny the rumors. Shawn Conrad was apparently out of the office. The Leaders of Women in Parking tell me that the response to their first annual convention has been so great that they will be working closely with the distaff leadership of both organizations and changes at every level may be in the offing.
Hub Parking continues its purchasing juggernaut having rolled up DataPark, Zeag, Magnetic Automation, and FAAC. Expect an announcement at the IPI with further purchases on the way. I noticed folks from Amano, and 3M were in evidence at the Hub Booth at Intertraffic.
Consolidation will continue in the Parking Operator business as Republic and Vinci, both of which are known to be on the block, are in heavy discussions with a medium size parking operator in California. It is unclear whether or not purchasing Vinci will bring along Laz, but if so, the resulting organization will become the largest parking entity on the planet.
There are also unconfirmed rumblings that a certain ticket manufacturer located in the deep south will be expanding its operations internationally, with factories in Latin America, Europe, and India.
Parking Apps are trending and both Google and Amazon are opening their checkbooks to the young software entrepreneurs who are developing the parking location and parking reservation apps, as well as pay by cell phone programs. Expect to see a consolidation in this area in the next few months.
I hear that Don Shoup is leaving UCLA and will take a position as permanent adviser to SF Park. It seems he is keeping the change quiet until the end of the School Year. You read it first here.
Yes its going to be a fun year in Parking with business activity booming. Of course if you believe one word of what I wrote above, you are an April Fool