Fund performance: Aberdare, Vicente, Aisling show gains in CalPERS portfolio

Gains by funds from Aberdare Ventures, Vicente Capital Partners and Aisling Capital lifted the performance of California Public Employees’ Retirement Systems self-directed venture portfolio.

The portfolio’s top fund, Insight V, also advanced during the most recent reporting period, although Khosla Ventures III and Khosla Ventures Seed lost ground, according to a CalPERS’ public portfolio report updating returns to June 2013.

Also with falling returns were NGEN II, Craton Equity Investors I, and VantagePoint Venture Partners 2006 and VantagePoint CleanTech Partners.

CalPERS holds 23 venture and venture-related funds with vintages of 2004 to 2009 in its self-directed portfolio. Performance overall is good. Seventeen of the funds have positive IRRs and six have negative ones.

Eleven of the funds advanced in the nine months leading to June 2013 and 12 of the funds saw their returns decline. New Enterprise Associates 12 was pruned from the portfolio during the reporting period.

Among the biggest gainers was Aberdare IV, a 2008 early-stage fund that saw its IRR rise to 17.5% from -1.7% in September 2012. CalPERS invested $31.4 million in the fund and distributions covered slightly less than half that amount, according to the portfolio report.

Two other funds also rose from negative to positive IRRs. Vicente Capital Partners Growth Equity climbed to a 9.5% IRR from a -6% one in September 2012. The 2007 fund had received $26.4 million from CalPERS as of June and so far produced only minimal distributions.

Aisling Capital III reached a 7.1% IRR in June from a -10% one in September 2012. The 2008 fund saw the value of its portfolio rise sharply and its distributions jump.

Khosla Ventures III is still the fifth best performing fund in the portfolio, but the IRR of the 2009 fund slipped to 17.5% from 22.4% in September 2012. Khosla Ventures Seed, also from 2009, pulled back to a 10.7% IRR from 17.7%, the portfolio report shows.

The worst performing fund in the portfolio – NGEN II – now has an IRR of -66.3%. In September 2012 the 2005 fund had an IRR of -36.5%.

The accompanying table lists the 23 funds with their commitment levels, distributions and IRRs from June 2013 and September 2012.