KPMG launches fintech startup accelerator for corporates


news KPMG Australia has announced the launch of a corporate-focused accelerator called mLabs that is intended to connect mutual banks and credit unions with Australian fintech startups.

KPMG – one of the ‘Big Four’ auditing firms – said mLabs has been co-designed with some mutuals to “promote and accelerate innovation” by developing commercial solutions to business challenges in collaboration with fintech startups.

The accelerator has been designed to help mutual authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and their members gain access to “leading fintech innovators”, and further allows fintech ventures to collaborate with other mutuals in one program, KPMG said.

The program will be initially joined by seven Australian mutual ADIs, including Beyond Bank, CUA, Greater Bank, Heritage, IMB Bank, Police Bank and Teachers Mutual Bank.

“As a hybrid of startup accelerator and corporate innovation program, KPMG mLabs draws upon our experience delivering the Energise energy and natural resources startup accelerator, and the elevate61 program which connects Australian enterprise tech startups to US markets,” said James Mabbott, head of KPMG Innovate.

“[mLabs] will be a platform for collaboration and a safe space for experimentation – and help bring some exciting new services to life for mutual banks and credit unions and their customers,” he added.

Over the course of the accelerator programme, the seven mutual ADIs will work with 14 fintech startups to “ideate new solutions, test assumptions and co-create and prototype products and services”, KPMG said.

Participants will follow a 12-week structured programme with expert advice from KPMG mentors and industry advisors such as Chris Whitehead, who helped to design the programme.

Leona Murphy, previously Head of Strategy for IAG, and Andrew Davis formerly Global Fintech Lead for HSBC, are also involved in the programme.

Ian Pollari, KPMG’s Global Co-Lead for Fintech, said: “Established organisations increasingly recognise the strategic importance of engaging with and sourcing capability from the fintech start-up community. The objective of KPMG mLabs is to systematically foster greater levels of collaboration between the participating mutual ADIs and fintech startups.”

“The mutuals are eager to engage the start-up community and for the fintech ventures, the prospect of innovating with the mutuals, who represent a combined customer base of more than two million, is a very attractive proposition,” said Pollari.

“Most importantly, KPMG mLabs will drive commercial outcomes for all participants, whether that be designing and launching new digital products and services, enhancing the customer experience or improving internal efficiency,” he concluded.