It’s actually not just large fund of funds like CalPERS. Whether it’s college campus endowment programs, smaller mutual funds, or family wealth management offices, venture is an important high beta asset class for a lot of funds and individuals looking to diversify their wealth and holdings.
There’s also a huge difference in industry performance depending on what stage you invest (early or growth), your investment strategy, and whether or not you’re able to get access to top tier deal flow. If you aggregate VC and then try to extrapolate these numbers, things look spotty. But in reality the real “problem” with the industry is that top decile VC firms tend to get the wealth of the asset classes’ return due to their access to certain deals.
From my experience the returns profiles of those firms tend to be a lot different. The Sequoias and NEAs of the world, as well as a score of other successful firms who are less brand name but more focused, build to 3X and beyond by securing lots of strong 3–5x “base hits” instead of just hunting unicorns.
Anyway, thought provoking article. Kudos!