Fund performance: Arch, Bessemer, Khosla show big gains in UC portfolio

The University of California’s venture capital portfolio made solid progress last year with a substantial majority of its recent vintage funds posting solid gains and several showing stand out performance.

Among the funds with the biggest gains were Arch Venture Fund VII, Bessemer Venture Partners VII Institutional and Updata Venture Partners IV, all from 2007 and Khosla Ventures Fund III from 2009.

The 2009 fund Khosla Ventures Seed also advanced nicely, as did the 2008 Energy Special Situations Fund II, according to a portfolio report from the Regents updating the holdings through December 2012.

The university has 29 venture funds with vintages of 2007 to 2012. It releases performance data for 26 of them. Its three Sequoia Capital funds—Sequoia Capital 2012, Sequoia U.S. Growth V and Sequoia Global Growth—are the only three venture holdings for which it releases no performance data.

California state law requires institutions with public investment funds to disclose high-level performance data on alternative investments.

The portfolio overall is fairly strong. Eighteen of the 26 funds with published performance data had investment multiples above 1, as of December, meaning they were in the black. Eight did not.

During 2012, all but three of the funds gained ground. The Sequoia funds are obviously not included in this calculation, as are five other funds too young to have had performance data in 2011.

Along with the funds mentioned above, Claremont Creek Ventures II from 2008 had a nice gain during the year, as did the very young 2010 Polaris Venture Partners VI. Also young funds, W Capital Partners III from 2011 and Khosla Ventures IV also from 2011, look to be off to good starts.

Canaan VIII from 2007 declined during last year, but still has a solid investment multiple.

Rockport Capital Partners III and Aisling Capital III, both from 2008, are still struggling.

The accompanying table lists with 29 funds with their commitments, distributions and investment multiples, except for the Sequoia funds.