The Kauffman Foundation, which has ties to the venture industry, has issued a damning study of the business that addresses long-running concerns about poor performance..
…Looking into its portfolio of nearly 100 VC funds, including what it says are some of the most notable and exclusive names (confidentiality agreements barred it from naming them), the foundation found that only 20 of them beat a public-market equivalent by more than 3% annually, and half of those started investing before 1995.
…The report also offers support for the belief that small venture funds are the most successful. Only four of 30 VC funds in the foundation’s portfolio with more than $400 million in committed capital produced returns better than those from a publicly traded small-cap stock index fund.
…The foundation promises to take its own medicine. It said it will invest in venture funds of less than $400 million whose partners have consistently shown they can outperform public markets and who commit at least 5% of the fund’s capital. It also plans to do more direct investing to avoid paying management fees and sharing profits with VCs. And, it plans to shift money from venture capital to the public markets.
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