Fund performance: IA Ventures tops Union Square in late-decade portfolio

Union Square Ventures has been able to boast of some of the top public IRRs in the past decade of the venture business, thanks to investments in Twitter, Tumblr and Zynga, among others.

But IA Ventures, founded by Roger Ehrenberg, is giving it a run for its money. At least for now.

IA Ventures Strategies Fund I bested the top performing Union Square Ventures Opportunity Fund among late-decade funds in the University of Texas Investment Management Company’s venture portfolio as of November. Both funds are vintage 2010 and came in at the head of the 17 funds UTIMCO holds with vintages of 2007 to 2010, according to a recent portfolio report. The report came out before the December IPO of LendingClub, which was backed by the Union Square Ventures Opportunity Fund.

Spark Capital and Foundry Group also rank high in the UTIMCO portfolio, with Spark Capital II making substantial distributions. Morgenthaler Management Partners scored nice, as well, with its Morgenthaler Venture Partners IX. And Arch Venture Fund VII showed significant improvement.

The recent portfolio report updates returns to November and shows the broad diversification UTIMCO brought to its late-decade holdings. The portfolio is almost evenly divided between medium-sized and smaller funds, with the only exceptions being three large-scale funds from Technology Crossover Ventures, Austin Ventures and Intellectual Ventures.

The portfolio favors early-stage and balanced funds.

At its head is IA Ventures Strategies Fund I with an IRR of 67.52 percent, as of November, a big gain from 34.21 percent in February, when it trailed Union Square Ventures Opportunity Fund. The Opportunity Fund had an IRR of 62.98 percent, the report shows.

Spark Capital II is third in the portfolio with an IRR of 53.85 percent. The fund distributed $88.8 million in distributions by the end of November, a big jump from $23.6 million as of February.

Arch Venture Fund VII saw its IRR leap to 31.74 percent from 17.77 percent in February.

The accompanying table lists the 17 funds with their commitments, distributions and IRRs.