LA Fire and Police boosts VC commitments by 6x

Most recently, the public pension committed $15 million to Longitude Venture Partners IV.

The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension system has committed more than $100 million to venture funds this year, an amount six times greater than it committed in 2018.

LA Fire and Police also tripled the number of venture funds it has backed — from three in 2018 to nine this year.

It is unclear if the increase is part of a strategic plan or if the pension is just taking advantage of what it believes are compelling opportunities. A spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Most recently, LA Fire and Police committed $15 million to Longitude Venture Partners IV, according to its latest monthly report. Menlo Park-based Longitude Capital invests in biotech and medical technology companies. Fund IV is targeting $55o million, according to a document filed with the SEC.

The investment in Longitude brings LA Fire and Police’s total commitment to venture to $105 million so far this year. In contrast, it committed $17.5 million across three venture vehicles in 2018. (Separately, the pension fund committed $45 million to growth equity in 2018.)

Other recent venture commitments by LA Fire and Police include a $5 million investment in Pear Ventures III,  a seed-focused fund targeting $115 million; a $15 million commitment into Pelion Ventures VII, a tech-focused fund targeting $250 million; and a $15 million investment in Oak HC/FT III, which closed on $800 million in August.

The pension fund currently has a 12 percent target allocation to private equity. Venture capital accounted for 24 percent of the PE portfolio at the end of September. The VC portfolio is currently valued at more than $1.08 billion.

LA Fire and Police was founded more than 100 years ago and currently serves about 26,000 active and retired firefighters and police officers. The pension fund has more than $23 billion in assets under management.