Element, Chrysalix head an ailing cleantech venture portfolio at CalPERS

Funds from Element Partners and Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital head a portfolio of cleantech venture funds at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

The portfolio of 2007 to 2010 vintages is a mix of mostly smaller and mid-sized funds. The majority focuses on a multi- and late-stage approach to investing, with several zeroing in specifically on energy.

For instance, five of the 12 funds raised between $250 million and $500 million, and six collected less than $250 million. Hudson Clean Energy Partners is the exception at more than $1 billion.

Overall, the portfolio’s performance is terrible. All but two funds had negative IRRs as of March 2017, with seven in the negative double digits, according to a recent portfolio report. The only two in positive territory had single digit IRRs.

The top-performing fund as of March was 2008 Element Partners II with an IRR of 3.1 percent, the report shows. In second place was Chrysalix Energy III, also from 2008, with an IRR of 1.7 percent.

Beyond that, the funds showed red ink.

Next in line was the XPV Water Fund with a -3.9 percent IRR, the report shows, while RockPort Capital Partners III, in fourth place, had an IRR of -4.5 percent.

Also in the portfolio are funds from NGEN Partners, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Nth Power and Braemar Energy Ventures.

The entire portfolio is available in the attached spreadsheet with commitments, distributions and IRRs.