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Transportation Startup Passport Acquires License Plate Reading Company NuPark

Passport got a big investment last year, and started looking for acquisition opportunities.

Passport, a startup that makes software to manage payments and other aspects of parking, transit and tolling, has acquired the license plate reading company NuPark.

NuPark is focused on parking specifically, with an emphasis on technology that allows cameras to read license plates, generating data as well as citations for violations. Passport already had a substantial footprint in parking, creating mobile apps for more than 450 customers, mostly in the public sector. Larger cities like Boston and Chicago, as well as smaller municipalities such as Morton, Pa., have Passport apps that allow customers to pay for parking with their cellphones.

The acquisition follows a big infusion of capital for Passport at the end of 2017, which CEO Bob Youakim said at the time he might use to buy other companies.

“With NuPark, we see an opportunity to create a differentiated offering for our clients, enabling them to further automate their operations under a single platform,” Youakim said in a press release. “Our technologies are very complementary, and we are aligned by a shared vision.”

The deal will lift Passport’s client base up to more than 550, according to the statement, implying that NuPark is bringing about 100 unique customers to the table.

On top of license plate reading and parking enforcement, NuPark also offers data analytics and dashboards. The company has worked with a lot of quasi-governmental entities such as airports and higher education institutions, but has also worked with municipalities like Longmont, Colo., and Flagstaff, Ariz., according to its website.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.