Fund performance: Emerging managers shine in late-vintage portfolio

Big gains from Foundry Group and IA Ventures helped emerging managers to shine in a late-vintage portfolio at the University of Texas Investment Management Company.

The portfolio is a sign of the times, another example of the way newly established firms have maneuvered nimbly to chalk up impressive returns. It also shows how small, early-stage funds can ring up big results. Only one of the 11 vintage 2011 to 2013 funds is larger than $225 million.

At the head of the portfolio is Foundry Group Select Fund from 2013, which as of August 2015 had called a substantial amount of its capital, according to a recent UTIMCO performance report. The fund’s IRR as of that date was 116.07 percent, a huge jump from 36.01 percent nine months earlier, the report shows. Most of the gains remained unrealized as distributions were modest.

IA Ventures Strategies Fund II also made big gains over the period. The 2011 fund saw its IRR climb to 78.85 percent as of August 2015 from 37.25 percent in November 2014. Distributions hadn’t yet begun.

Union Square Ventures 2012 Fund advanced nicely as well, as did Sofinnova Venture Partners VIII, the report shows. But another Foundry Group fund eclipsed them both. Foundry Venture Capital 2013 saw its IRR rise to 30.11 percent in August from 5.26 percent in November 2014.

In the middle of the portfolio, Cendana Co-Investment Fund maintained its steady performance with an IRR of 19.39 percent.

The full list of 11 funds is available on the accompanying table with commitments, distributions and IRRs. It will be interesting to watch how many of these funds do in the coming year as venture re-thinks valuations primarily in the late stage but perhaps in early rounds as well.