Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (SMBC) have joined forces with New York-based venture capital fund Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) to support business development and technology innovation.

Under the partnership, the bank has invested in ERA’s new investment funds. The bank said that by working with the US firm, it aims to build closer ties between New York and Japanese firms and establish the two markets as centres of technology innovation.

The bank said that the move represents its “first investment in a New York City-focused venture capital fund and its first investment in a U.S.-based technology accelerator”.

ERA has 140 portfolio companies, Sumitomo said, which engage in various market segments and have a total market capitalisation of $1.3bn.