Fund performance: Healthcare funds score big for CalSTRS

Want more evidence of the booming exit market for life sciences startups? Turn to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s recent venture portfolio.

The top three performing funds from the portfolio are healthcare funds, with two of them, OrbiMed Advisors and Sofinnova Ventures, making substantial gains over the 12 months ending in March. The portfolio also saw impressive gains from GGV Capital and a nice advance by a 2008 BlueRun Ventures fund, according to a recent portfolio report.

CalSTRS holds 26 venture and venture-related funds with vintages of 2007 to the present. Overall, the portfolio has performed smartly. As of March, almost two-thirds of the funds were in the black, with 10 of them boasting IRRs above 20 percent, the report shows.

That’s all the more impressive when considering the majority of the funds not yet posting positive IRRs are ones formed in the past two years and therefore still in their infancy.

The portfolio favors mid-sized funds, with 11 between $300 million and $750 million in size. Another six weigh in between $200 million and $300 million. Investment strategy is evenly divided among early, late and balanced initiatives with six funds functioning as funds of funds.

At the top of the portfolio is OrbiMed Private Investments V from 2013 with an IRR of 72.93 percent as of March, the report shows. Performance at the still young fund rose sharply from a year earlier, when its IRR was -26.36 percent

Sofinnova Venture Partners VIII also gained nicely. The 2011 fund had an IRR of 54.85 percent in March, up from 36.87 percent a year earlier.

GGV Capital V, also from 2011, jumped handily to an IRR of 36.98 percent in March from 9.68 percent a year ago. BlueRun Ventures IV ended March with an IRR of 36.7 percent.

The accompanying table lists the 26 funds along with capital commitments, distributions and IRRs.