Colorado LP’s venture portfolio includes a handful of relatively strong performing funds

Longitude Capital, LLR Partners, Summit Partners and Insight Venture Partners lead COPERA's performance, according to a December 2018 report.

Since 2007, the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Colorado has backed more than a dozen venture funds.

A handful of these funds show strong performance with an internal rate of return of 20 percent or more, as the remaining funds in COPERA’s VC portfolio are registering mostly positive IRRs, according to a Venture Capital Journal analysis of December 2018 report.

Longitude Capital’s $325 million first fund with an IRR of 25.19 percent leads the Colorado LP’s portfolio in vintages that precede the financial crisis. The Menlo Park life sciences-focused fund had half a dozen investments exit via an IPO.

Another strong performer with the same vintage is Technology Crossover Ventures, which registered an IRR of 23.05 percent.

The Denver retirement system did not make any venture capital commitments during the financial crisis, but resumed VC investing in 2012, backing at least one fund a year.

Large and mega-funds were on top of COPERA’s mid-decade portfolio performance. LLR Partners’ $950 million ninth fund, Summit Partners Growth Equity $2.7 billion eighth fund and Insight Venture Partners IX $3.3 billion fund each clocked an IRR of more than 26 percent, according to the December 2018 report.

The public pension’s latest VC commitments include $15 million to Access Ventures in 2017 and $40 million to Insight Venture Partners in 2018. Due to their young age, returns for these funds are not yet very meaningful.

According to COPERA’s website, the retirement system has more than $49 billion in assets under management. The public pension allocates 8.4 percent to the private equity category, of which 18.8 percent is devoted to venture capital.

To download the full version of these results click here: Colorado-PERA-venture-portfolio-2007-to-2016

2007 to 2008

Fund IRR (%)
Longitude Venture Partners 25.19
Technology Crossover Ventures VII 23.05
LLR Equity Partners III 14.02
Lighthouse Capital Partners VI 6.84
Galen Partners V 4.28

2012 to 2016

Fund IRR (%)
LLR Equity Partners IV 27.38
Summit Partners Growth Equity VIII 26.04
Insight Venture Partners IX 26.01
Longitude Venture Partners II 15.20
Technology Crossover Ventures IX 11.96
Technology Crossover Ventures VIII 10.51
Longitude Venture Partners III -6.38
Source: Colorado PERA portfolio report, December 2018. Source for fund type and size from Thomson Reuters.