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Avalon, Foundry, Third Rock lead 2007 venture portfolio at CalPERS

Funds from Avalon Ventures, Foundry Group and Third Rock Ventures lead a portfolio of 2007 vintage venture funds at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

The portfolio favors mid-sized and small early-stage funds. Almost half are between $200 million and $499 million, and more than half target startups early in their life spans.

Three larger funds come in between $500 million and $750 million, and three of the total do later-stage investing.

Overall, performance is strong, underscoring the notion of 2007 as the first year of the current improvement in returns. All but three of the 15 funds had IRRs in the double digits as of March 2017, according to a public portfolio report. Of those, four had IRRs above 20 percent.

The top performer as of March 2017 was Avalon Ventures VIII with an IRR of 51.5 percent, the report shows. Distributions were more than 2x invested capital.

The Avalon fund invested in social gaming company Zynga, which went public in 2011, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

Following it was Foundry Group Capital 2007 with an IRR of 43.3 percent and impressive distributions of more than 4x capital. Also strong was Third Rock Ventures with an IRR of 32.2 percent, the report shows. Distributions were substantial as well.

The portfolio has well-performing funds from Column Group, OrbiMed Advisors and Battery Ventures.