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Fund performance: Spark, Polaris, NEA lead late vintage venture portfolio

Funds from Spark Capital, Polaris Partners and New Enterprise Associates are the top performers in a late vintage Los Angeles civic pension portfolio.

The funds are among 15 mid-life venture funds held by the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System. By in large, the funds, with vintages of 2008 to 2015, are showing solid returns.

Only five funds have negative IRRs and three of those are 2013 vintage or later, meaning they are still in formative stages. The median of the remaining funds was a 17.7 percent IRR as of December, an impressive result, according to a recent portfolio report.

The portfolio favors large and medium size funds, with all but three above $300 million in size.

The top two funds in the portfolio come from Spark. Spark Capital II from 2008 had an IRR of 53.5 percent as of December. The seed stage Spark Capital III had an IRR of 36.5 percent, according to the report.

Close on its heels is Polaris Venture Partners VI, a 2010 fund with an IRR of 35.3 percent as of December.

New Enterprise Associates 13, TCV VII and Khosla Ventures IV, three large-scale funds, also are showing solid performance.

LACERS since 2013 had bought into six additional venture and venture-related funds, including Spark’s growth fund, the new Polaris venture fund and TCV’s eighth later stage fund. It also added funds from Insight Venture Partners and Oak Investment Partners to its portfolio.

The entire list of 15 funds is included in the accompanying table, with commitments, distributions and IRRs.