Fund performance: Early-stage funds advance for CalPERS

Early-stage funds are driving the performance of venture investments in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s Golden State Investment Fund.

The portfolio is managed by Hamilton Lane and focuses on opportunities in California. At the head of its venture investments is Claremont Creek Ventures’ second fund, followed closely by Upfront Ventures’ third fund. Another top performer is DFJ Frontier Fund II.

The portfolio is starting to reach mid-life with vintages of 2007 to 2009, and is made up of smaller and mid-sized funds. Its top five venture funds are all early stage, according to a CalPERS portfolio report updating results to June 2014. (Two mezzanine funds are included in VCJ’s analysis.)

Among the funds with the biggest gains during the previous 12 months is Claremont Creek Ventures II, which as of June had an IRR of 18.4 percent, up from 16 percent in June 2013.

Upfront’s GRP III made an even larger advance. It ended June with an IRR of 17.5 percent, up from 8.9 percent a year earlier.

DFJ Frontier II also moved up nicely, claiming a 12.3 percent IRR as of June, as did DBL Equity Fund – BAEF II, which rose out of negative territory to an IRR of 7.5 percent as of June.

The nine funds are listed in the accompanying table with their commitments, distributions and IRRs.