Fund performance: Claremont takes top spot from Upfront in CalPERS portfolio

A big gain by Claremont Creek Ventures’ second fund propelled it to the top of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System Golden State Investment Partners’ venture portfolio, displacing Upfront Ventures.

The fund, Claremont Creek Ventures II, saw its IRR shoot up to 16% in the pension manager’s most recent portfolio report, dated June 2013. That was enough to push it ahead of GRP III Investors, the Upfront fund, and into the lead position among venture and venture-related holdings, according to the portfolio report.

GRP III Investors had an IRR of 13.6% as of June, down from 20.4% in September of 2012. The Golden State portfolio also holds the Upfront fund GRP III, which saw its IRR slip to 8.9% from 13.2% over the same period.

The Golden State portfolio overall has generated solid results for CalPERS. Seven of its nine venture and venture-related funds have positive IRRs while two have negative IRRs. During the nine months leading to June, five of the funds lost ground while the performance of three improved.

Hamilton Lane manages the portfolio.

The top performer, Claremont Creek Ventures II, is a $175 million early-stage fund with positions in Clean Power Finance, EcoFactor and Alphabet Energy, according to data from Thomson Reuters (publisher of VCJ). Among its exits last year, Acuity Brands acquired its portfolio company Adura Technologies.

As of June, the fund had not generated distributions.

GRP III, for its part, had generated only modest distributions as of June, according to the portfolio report. The early-stage fund holds such companies as Maker Studios, DataSift and TrueCar, according to Thomson Reuters. Among its recent exits, Apple acquired portfolio company Burstly this year.

Another fund that gained over the period was St. Cloud Capital Partners II. The mezzanine fund rose from a negative IRR to an IRR of 3.4%.

Along with GRP III, Pacific Community Ventures Partners III saw its IRR fall.

The nine funds are listed in the accompanying table along with commitment levels and IRRs.