Most VC funds in CalSTRS’ mid-last decade portfolio have double-digit IRRs

OrbiMed, Summit Partners and Shasta Ventures lead CalSTRS' 2012 to 2017 vintage portfolio, according to the pension plan's recent performance report.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System may have slightly missed its return target for the fiscal year 2019, but the pension fund’s recent venture portfolio is registering strong results.

Most of CalSTRS’ funds from 2012 to 2017 reported double-digit internal rates of return, according to a Venture Capital Journal analysis of its private equity performance report as of March 2019.

The top-performing recent VC fund was OrbiMed Private Investments V from 2013 with an IRR of 53.3 percent, the report shows. Other strong performers in the vintage time frame were a 2016 Summit Partners fund IV-A and Shasta Ventures V from 2017, registering IRRs of 43.2 percent and 43.3 percent, respectively.

Other funds with robust results, according to an analysis of the report, included:

  • GGV Capital V from 2014 with an IRR of 31.07;
  • and a 2017 vintage LAV Biosciences IV, a fund managed by Lilly Asian Ventures, which recorded an IRR of 29.31.

IRRs above 20 percent were also booked by NEA 15 Opportunity fund, New Enterprise Associates 15, GGV Capital VI and Vivo Capital Surplus Fund VII.

Re-up commitments

Over the last couple of years, the pension plan has re-upped with a handful of venture firms.

In 2018, CalSTRS committed $43 million to LAV Biosciences V, $80 million across three GGV Capital funds and $100 million to Vivo Capital’s $1.43 billion ninth fund. In 2019, the retirement system committed $25 million to Shasta Ventures VI.

However, the largest venture outlay went to NEA 17 with a $225 million re-up to the Menlo Park firm’s largest fund to date, targeted at $3.6 billion.

The performance of these newer commitments is not yet meaningful.

As of December 2019, CalSTRS allocated 9.2 percent of its $254.1 billion AUMs to the private equity bucket, which incorporates venture capital.

To download the full version of these results click here: CalSTRS-venture-portfolio-2012-to-2017 as of 2019 Q1

CalSTRS venture portfolio, 2012 to 2017 vintages

Fund Vintage IRR (%)
OrbiMed Private Investments V 2013 53.30
Summit Partners VC Fund IV-A 2016 43.19
Shasta Ventures V 2017 42.29
GGV Capital V 2014 31.07
LAV Biosciences Fund IV 2017 29.31
NEA 15 Opportunity Fund 2015 22.76
New Enterprise Associates 15 2015 22.27
GGV Capital VI 2016 21.33
Vivo Capital Surplus Fund VIII 2014 20.09
Vivo Capital Fund VIII 2014 18.66
New Enterprise Associates 14 2012 17.18
Strategic Investors Fund V-B 2012 16.62
Strategic Investors Fund VII-A 2014 15.63
New Enterprise Associates 16 2017 14.90
Sofinnova Venture Partners IX 2014 14.34
Strategic Investors Fund VI-A 2013 13.57
GGV Capital VI Plus 2018 12.36
GGV Capital Select 2015 10.07
M2 Private Equity Fund Of Funds II 2014 8.09
BRV Oportunities Fund 2015 7.00
Blue Run Ventures V 2014 3.68
Shasta Ventures IV 2014 -1.14
BRV VI 2017 -12.75
Source: CalSTRS portfolio report, as of March 2019. Source for fund size from Thomson Reuters.