Professional services firm KPMG UK has announced that it has signed an agreement to form a joint venture with Venture Capital (VC) advisory firm Acceleris.

Through the joint venture, called KPMG Acceleris, the firms will deliver a range of fundraising and advisory services to entrepreneurs in the UK and internationally, with a particular focus on businesses in technology, life sciences and ESG-related sectors.

Jon Holt, chief executive of KPMG UK, said: “Fast growing companies are the heartbeat of the UK economy, but access to funding remains a big barrier for entrepreneurs trying to grow their businesses. By partnering with Acceleris we will enable companies to unlock the finance they need and help them navigate what remains a volatile operating environment.

“This joint venture also marks a significant milestone for our firm and is the first in a series of innovative investments we’re making to transform our business and develop new services to help our clients grow.”

KPMG Acceleris will be led by Norman Molyneux, Simon Thorn and Patrick Molyneux, initially operating from Manchester and London, supported by a team of experts across the UK. The joint venture will also benefit from access to KPMG’s global network of advisors.

Acceleris founder, Norman Molyneux, commented: “For any entrepreneur, selecting the right investor is absolutely critical. If early-stage businesses bring in investors who aren’t fully aligned with their plans, they’re unlikely to deliver on their original objectives effectively. Making sure both parties are in sync makes a huge difference in not only the outcome, but also the value that can be realised.

“As a business we’ve been operating for over 21 years, and we’ve recognised that the industry could benefit immensely from improved processes and diligence earlier in the cycle, as well as better alignment between investors and entrepreneurs. Venture fundraising is difficult to navigate for innovative technology-based companies. Our mission is to significantly improve this process so founders and their businesses can thrive and make a positive impact on the economy.

Why DealCloud is the real deal

“KPMG also recognise this and that’s what makes our joint venture so exciting and game-changing. Together we’re well positioned to better support entrepreneurs and investors, providing them with effective tools and processes which align to their plans, as well as monitoring and governance systems to help them navigate the different forms of capital as they develop.”

The joint venture is subject to the consent of the Financial Conduct Authority and the transaction is expected to complete later this year. Following completion, KPMG UK will formally acquire 50% of the share capital of Acceleris, and Jonathan Boyers, partner and head of corporate finance at KPMG UK will join the board of directors, alongside Warren Middleton, Manchester office senior partner and Emerging Giants Programme Lead at KPMG UK.

Jonathan Boyers, partner and head of corporate finance at KPMG UK, added: “The number one issue for most start-ups, particularly in the tech and life sciences sectors, is the need to raise funding. The UK’s VC market has seen a rapid increase in the number of early-stage businesses successfully raising money to grow in recent years, along with interest from investors looking to deploy capital in quality companies. However, fundraising is still a challenge, and the need for stronger infrastructure to better support those looking to take their businesses to the next level remains.

“While there are various brokers, introducers and incubators offering some support to early-stage businesses, there aren’t many who are set up to advise them through the fundraising journey to maturity. Through our investment we’re combining the experience of the Acceleris team with the skills and resource of the KPMG network, so that we can help businesses grow from early-stage fundraising right through the lifecycle to exit, and beyond.”