Fund Performance: Golden State Venture Portfolio Shows Big Gains

The venture capital funds in CalPERS’ Golden State Investment Partners portfolio logged big gains by and large last year, with Claremont Creek Ventures II showing the most dramatic improvement of all.

At the end of September 2011, six of the nine venture capital, balanced and mezzanine funds in the portfolio were in the red with negative IRRs. A year later, the reverse was true. Six had positive IRRs and only three posted negative ones, according to a recent California Public Employees’ Retirement System portfolio report.

The turnaround was especially striking for Claremont Creek Ventures II, a 2009-vintage early stage fund, managed by Oakland-based Claremont Creek Ventures. The fund’s -21.9% IRR rose to 3.7% in September 2012, the date of the report.

The Golden State Investment Partners portfolio, managed by Hamilton Lane, is hardly the only one to post better venture performance over the period. Many venture capital funds have improved in recent years as portfolio companies have grown and their valuations climbed.

But the improvement is particularly noticeable among the Golden State holdings. Five of the funds advanced smartly during the period while the four others showed only modest declines.

One big gainer, DFJ Frontier Fund II, rose solidly into the black from a negative IRR. Pacific Community Ventures Partners III also improved, as did the mezzanine fund St. Cloud Capital Partners II.

Several top performers, already well in the black, saw their IRRs dip slightly but not enough to dim strong results. Among them were GRP III Investors and Huntington Capital Fund II.

In the accompanying table, please find the nine funds listed with their commitment levels, called capital and IRRs from September 2012 and 2011.