As the consulting industry continues to scramble for virtual land, KPMG has become the latest big firm to enter the metaverse. The firm’s digital ‘collaboration hub’ will work to help clients develop strategies within the space.
Formally launched by the US and Canada businesses of KPMG, the firm’s new metaverse collaboration hub is said to offer a private place where employees, partners and clients can conduct virtual team meetings and share ideas. This includes the use of ‘virtual whiteboards’, for example. Speaking to business news site Blockworks, a KPMG spokesperson added that staff would be able to conduct training sessions, job interviews and employee evaluations in the metaverse, as well as meetings to demonstrate KPMG’s services and capabilities.
Within the hub, KPMG is also understood to have formed dedicated teams of members with technology and innovation experience. These groups will offer support to clients around metaverse design, use cases of NFTs, cryptocurrency assets, community engagement and broader Web3 integrations. This includes services such as vendor selection, business and technical requirements design, systems integration and program governance for different metaverse activations.
KPMG International is a global network of firms headquartered in the Netherlands. The organisation reported roughly $32 billion in revenue for its 2021 fiscal year, from its offering of audit, tax and advisory services, but as with many other consulting firms, it clearly sees an opportunity to expand those takings via the metaverse.
Armughan Ahmad, Managing Partner of Digital for KPMG in Canada, added in a statement, “The metaverse is making it possible for us to experience the ‘phygital’ world, where physical and digital worlds collide. The metaverse is a $13 trillion market opportunity that could boast as many as five billion users by 2030.”
The move follows the news that KPMG’s Canadian wing had recently added bitcoin and ether to its corporate treasury. In February 2022, it also reportedly purchased a World of Women NFT. In the months since, the value of that collection of tokens – in line with the wider NFT market – has tanked, falling from a peak of $37,000 in average value, to under $4,000 per now.
Boarding the hype train
In recent months, the ‘metaverse’ has become the latest technological trend to excite investors around the world. Metaverse technology seeks to build a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection, and is forecast by some as the next iteration of the internet – with the global network finally manifesting a single, universal virtual world.
The idea has grown in prominence in the last year particularly, thanks to Facebook’s rebranding as Meta – a Metaverse company. This has coincided with many more large companies throwing even larger amounts of money at their own metaverse preparation. And of course, wherever businesses are spending money, consulting firms are sure to follow, and offer advice on how to get the most from their investments.
As such, KPMG is not the only consulting brand looking to utilise the concept of the metaverse, either in training, or its advisory work. Big Four competitor PwC has also pushed into the metaverse space, for example. At the turn of the year, the firm’s Hong Kong wing has purchased imaginary real estate on The Sandbox – a game where digital land has previously been purchased for a fee of upwards from $10,000.
Meanwhile, Accenture operates its own metaverse, called the Nth floor, where the company’s people participate in new hire orientation and immersive learning or meet and socialise as teams. By the end of the current fiscal year, the company expects 150,000 or more new hires will spend their first day working in this metaverse. And not to be outdone, former KPMG spin-off, BearingPoint, is working with clients such as Leinster Rugby Club, to help them utilise the metaverse in their global service offerings.