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School Bus Safety Firm BusPatrol Raises PE Investment

The capital, from GI Partners, stands as the latest example of growing private equity interest in gov tech. BusPatrol’s cameras, AI and other tools catch drivers trying to drive around stopped school buses.

Chesapeake bus
A city school bus with its stop arm extended is seen on Feb. 5, 2020.
L. Todd Spencer/TNS
BusPatrol, which sells safety technology for school buses, has raised what it calls a “significant investment" from GI Partners, a private equity firm.

Terms were not disclosed. The investment came through the firm’s GI Data Infrastructure Fund.

The investment marks the latest move by private equity in the government technology space, seen as increasingly attractive to those firms for various reasons, including the relative financial stability of public agencies and their growing use of cutting-edge, cloud-based digital tools.

BusPatrol’s offering revolves around stop-arm safety cameras and artificial intelligence.

The cameras and related tech are designed to reduce the number of illegal passings of buses by other drivers. School districts can buy the technology via fines levied on violators, according to the Virginia-based company.

A BusPatrol spokesperson said that nearly 30,000 school buses in the U.S. carry BusPatrol tech, and that the company works with “hundreds of municipalities, school districts and law enforcement agencies.” One example comes from Buffalo, N.Y., where the school board and city in late 2023 said it would let BusPatrol install outward facing cameras on buses to catch drivers trying to pass while students are getting onto or leaving the vehicles. Fines for doing so start at $250.

“GI Partners’ meaningful investment is a testament to our differentiated offering, our operational excellence, and most importantly, our customer impact,” said Karoon Monfared, BusPatrol CEO, in the statement. “As a GI Partners portfolio company, we have a significant opportunity in front of us to grow additional market share and to expand into new and exciting verticals.”

Canada-based private equity firm Fit Ventures remains an equity holder and investor in BusPatrol, the company said. Fit has backed BusPatrol since 2017.

“Investing in high-growth companies with a differentiated approach is core to our mission, and BusPatrol is a prime example,” said Sam Pai, partner at Fit Ventures, in the statement. “GI Partners shares this belief, and we are delighted to be working with them to accelerate BusPatrol’s leading position.”

As for GI Ventures, it made one of its biggest recent gov tech splashes in 2022, when it bought procurement, budgeting and permitting software provider GTY Technology Holdings and took it private. GTY has since rebranded as Euna Solutions.

GI Partners launched in 2001.