KPMG UK has signed an agreement to form a joint venture with venture capital (VC) advisory firm Acceleris to finance start-ups and tech businesses
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: ‘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 based across the UK. The joint venture will also benefit from access to KPMG’s global network of advisers.
There will be an active pool of investors to support £1m to £30m fast growth investments while a private family office network will be able to underwrite £5m to £10m to fund the commercialisation phase.
The joint venture is subject to approval by 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 two senior KPMG partners, Jonathan Boyers, partner and head of corporate finance, and Warren Middleton, Manchester office senior partner, will join the board of directors.
Acceleris founder, Norman Molyneux, said: ‘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.
‘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.’
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.’
KPMG UK’s corporate finance practice has over 250 M&A experts who work across all sectors and geographies advising buyers, sellers, borrowers, lenders and financial investors across the spectrum of corporate finance services.
Acceleris is a well-established FCA-regulated Venture Capital advisory firm, with a strong investor network and track record of helping founders and scaleups with venture capital raises, as well as advising on quality investments.
In addition to fundraising and advisory services, KPMG Acceleris will offer:
A technology platform to improve the efficiency of securing venture capital
Vast experience of identifying and fast-tracking exceptional candidates through the growth stage of their development across numerous funding rounds
A clear focus on managing the exit process with links to M&A expertise and public markets to encourage liquidity events – providing a holistic start-up to exit service.