Fund Performance: Washington Pension Sports Solid Results From Mid-Decade Funds

The Washington State Investment Board’s venture investments from the middle of the last decade show surprisingly solid results given the challenges of the vintage years.

Through its Pathway and Invesco portfolios, WSIB holds 12 funds from the years 2003 to 2005. Ten of them have positive IRRs and four of them sport IRRs greater than 15 percent. They reveal a pension manager more active in venture than a cursory examination of its quarterly public portfolio reports would suggest.

That’s because none of the funds appear in the performance reports. VCJ obtained a list of them and their performance through a public records request.

The Pathway and Invesco portfolios have given WSIB access to some of the latest funds from such top firms as Battery Ventures, Canaan Partners and Austin Ventures. All told, the holdings include 26 venture investments made during the past decade at a time when WSIB’s public portfolio reports show it made only six additional venture capital investments outside the portfolios.

Last month, we published the 14 investments from the two portfolios made between 2006 and 2010 with their commitment levels and performance through June 2012. You can find that story by clicking on the “Related Articles” link on the right.

Here, we publish the 12 funds from 2003 to 2005 along with their distributions and IRRs.

Standouts include Union Square Ventures 2004 with an IRR of 71.17% and distributions of $18.7 million. Also high on the list are Insight Venture Partner V and the firm’s companion co-investment fund. Both sport IRRs above 20%, according to an analysis of the data. Canaan VII from 2005 also ranks favorably with a 15.07% IRR.

Laggards include El Dorado Ventures VII and Three Arch Partners IV, both with negative IRRs. Essex Woodlands Health Ventures Fund VI has an IRR only slightly in the black.

The three vintage years were not easy for venture. Each of them has an average IRR of between -0.3% to 2.25%, according to Cambridge Associates.

WSIB has three other direct investments from the years listed in its most recent publicly performance report.  We didn’t include them in the chart. The additional commitments went to Essex Woodlands Health Ventures VI, the Mobius Technology Ventures Side Fund VI and to Oak Investment Partners XI.