Fund performance: Spark Capital leads late-decade portfolio at LACERS

A pair of funds from Spark Capital lead a well-performing late-decade venture portfolio at the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System.

Spark Capital II and Spark Capital III captured the first and second positions in the 13-fund portfolio as of June, according to a recent performance report. But not by much. Polaris Venture Partners VI was right at their heels.

The vintage 2007 to 2013 funds in the LACERS portfolio reflects the upbeat period for returns. More than half of the funds had double-digit IRRs as of June, and almost a third topped the 20 percent mark, the report shows.

The portfolio favors mid-tier funds between $200 million and $500 million in size along with large billion-dollar-plus funds from New Enterprise Associates, Technology Crossover Ventures and Khosla Ventures. It is evenly diversified among late, early and multi-stage investment strategies.

Spark Capital II is by far the top performer with a 52.1 percent IRR as of June, the report shows. The 2008 fund is almost completely distributed.

The fund backed Twitter, which went public, as well as, AdMeld, Boxee and 5min, all of which were acquired, according to Thomson Reuters.

Spark Capital III held onto a 30.9 percent IRR as of the end of the second quarter. However, its performance slipped over the previous 18 months.

Fund II invested in Group Commerce, which was acquired, and Wayfair, when launched an IPO.

Polaris Venture Partners VI also pulled back over the period. Still, its IRR of 30.6 percent as of June came within a hair of Spark’s.

Other top performing funds include TCV VII, New Enterprise Associates 13 and Khosla Ventures IV.

Element Partners II and DFJ Frontier Fund II struggled over the 18-month period.

Details on all 13 funds can be found in the accompanying table where we list commitments, distributions and IRRs.