Given how the pandemic has disrupted the overall market while eliminating travel and enacting social distancing measures, it would be easy to expect some LPs may back off from investing.
But two public California pensions have already surpassed their 2019 allocation numbers recently, while other institutions nationwide are also getting their commitments out there.
SF and Sacramento invest locally
The San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS) and the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS) committed a combined $65 million to OrbiMed Private Investments VIII in September.
The Sacramento LP committed $15 million to OrbiMed’s latest fund, while the San Francisco pension scheme committed $50 million.
For Sacramento, this is the pension’s first commitment to the manager and only its third new venture partnership since the beginning of 2017. But with $55 million already committed so far in 2020, the LP has already surpassed the $45 million committed to two funds in 2019.
SFERS also announced two other venture commitments, including $22.5 million to Lead Edge Capital Fund V, a late-stage software vehicle and new relationship for the investor, and $25 million to Hillhouse Focused Growth Partners Fund V, a late-stage investor that the LP has an existing partnership with.
Overall, SFERS has invested more than $281.5 million into the asset class this year across nine funds, already surpassing its $250 million 2019 total.
Texas County and District made its eighth and nine venture commitments of the year in the beginning of Q4 by re-upping with a longtime partner, Khosla Ventures.
The Texas pension committed $95 million for the firm’s seventh flagship fund, Khosla Ventures VII, which is targeting $1.1 billion, and $30 million to its seed fund, Khosla Ventures Seed E, which is seeking $400 million. Both funds launched in Mid-October.
The pension has invested more than $367.5 million into the asset class in 2020, compared to the $460 million the LP allocated in 2019.
Minority focus for LAFPP
The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions reported $20 million of new venture commitments across two minority-founded emerging mangers.
The LP put $10 million into Reach Capital’s latest fund, Reach III, which has a $150 million target to invest in early-stage edtech start-ups. LAFPP also invested $10 million into 645 Ventures’s third vintage, 645 Ventures III, which is seeking $100 million to invest in early-stage SaaS and technology.
Both investments closed in September.
Meanwhile in Maine
The Maine Public Employees Retirement System committed $40 million to Bain Capital Ventures’s latest fund, Bain Capital Venture Fund 2021, at its October 15 board meeting. The fund has not disclosed its target, but its predecessor closed on its $650 million target in 2018.
This commitment appears to be the pension’s first to its New England neighbor. The organization also invested in General Catalyst Group X, $75 million, and Summit Partners Venture Capital Fund V, $45 million, earlier this year.