The investment council of the $75-billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund has committed $200 million into Chinese private equity firm ClearVue Capital’s third fund – ClearVue Partners III, according to the minutes of a board meeting held last month.
Citing an SEC filing, DEALSTREETASIA had reported that Shanghai-based ClearVue Capital is currently on the road to raise $600 million for ClearVue Partners III, almost twice as much as its second fund, which was closed at a hard cap of $362 million in 2017.
The Chinese firm raised its first fund in 2014, with a final close at $262 million, exceeding its initial target of $200 million. It targets early growth and growth stage local companies along the consumer megratrend themes of modernisation and new retail, lifestyle, health and wellness, and digital consumption.
Last year, it made a $102-million follow-on funding round in Chinese autonomous vehicle company Pony.ai, which it co-led with Eight Roads.
In a board meeting held on January 31, Oregon Investment Council has authorised almost $3 billion worth of investments into private equity firms. Among them include a $300-million commitment into Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX and a $500-million commitment to Blackstone Capital Partners VIII.
The investment council of the pension fund added that it will continue to commit between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion into private equity funds for 2019 across 10 to 15 commitments of $100 million to $500 million over the year. It also said that it will re-launch a revised co-investment programme.
About 11 per cent of its 2018 PE commitments has an Asia-focused strategy.
Beyond ClearVue Partners, the council has also committed $100 million into China and US-based GGV Capital’s main funds – GGV Capital VII and VII Plus, and $460 million GGV Discovery II which are focused on seed and early-stage opportunities. The funds, inclusive of a $60 million GGV Capital VII Entrepreneurs Fund which consisting largely of company founders as LPs, were closed last October at a total amount of $1.88 billion.
Founded in 2000, GGV Capital claims to generate an IRR of more than 25 per cent. It has invested in 51 unicorns across US and China, where half of these were Series B or earlier-stage companies at the time of initial investments such as Airbnb, Didi Chuxing, Toutiao, Slack, and in Southeast Asia, Grab.
Out of these 51 unicorns, 25 have gone public, such as Alibaba, Square, YY Inc., Zendesk. The VC firm said it returned more than $1-billion to its LPs in 2017 and 2018.
There is an increasing interest in Asian investments among US pension funds, who have been making commitments to Asia-focused vehicles. Last week, the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System has invested $175 million across two Asian PE funds – Korean-based Hahn & Company and India-based ChrysCapital.
In January, the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System committed $25 million into Hong Kong-based Baring Private Equity Asia’s seventh Asia-focused vehicle. The $5.5-billion Baring Asia Fund VIII has also received allocations from other US pension funds including Texas Employees Retirement System ($15 million), Los Angeles Fire & Police Pension System ($25 million) and Rhode Island State Investment Commission.
While last December, San Francisco Employees Retirement System disclosed that it has committed a $50 million investment into the third Asia-focused fund of Hong Kong’s PAG. The fund was closed last November at $6 billion.