As the holiday season approaches, the market typically starts to quiet. But as with most things, 2020 is different. Many US public pensions continue to grow their venture portfolios regardless of how small or large their VC strategy is.
Canvas Ventures gained two new LPs this quarter. The Silicon Valley-based early-stage firm grabbed 10 percent of its Canvas Ventures 3 $300 million target from two California pensions.
The Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA) committed $10 million to the vehicle in November. The pension system isn’t especially active in venture; this marks its first commitment to the asset class since 2018.
The fund also collected $20 million from the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS). This is a new relationship for the LP, which has greatly expanded its venture portfolio so far this year. The pension has invested $321.5 million into venture funds, soaring 22 percent over the $250 million it invested in 2019.
SCERS also committed $20 million to Khosla Ventures VII, an existing relationship for the firm. The fund launched in October with a $1.1 billion target.
Asset class is in session
The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) added a fresh $100 million to its venture and growth equity separately-managed account with Hamilton Lane.
The pension system committed $89.1 million to at least nine funds this year through this initiative. The SMA invested in such notable venture vehicles in 2020 as General Catalyst Group X ($15 million), Greycroft Growth III ($10 million) and GGV’s 2020 trio of funds ($15 million).
The Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PPERS) entered the venture ring this quarter as well. The $59 billion pension fund committed $30 million to Valar Velocity Fund 2, a new relationship.
The fund, managed by Valar Ventures, launched in March and is targeting $250 million to invest in global technology start-ups.
Venture makes up 2 percent of the overall PPERS portfolio.
The San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System snuck in three local re-up commitments right before Thanksgiving.
The California LP invested $45 million across three funds managed by Versant Ventures, the San Francisco-based multi-stage healthcare-focused firm, at its November 19 meeting. SFERS committed to Versant Venture Capital VIII ($16 million), Versant Voyageurs II ($4 million) and Versant Vantage II ($25 million).
SFERS has committed more than $355 million to the asset class so far in 2020.