The Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund (AP6) has followed its investment in technology fund Northzone VII with a €25m commitment to its successor fund.

Northzone VIII closed after reaching its target of €300m in an oversubscribed round of fundraising.

Other participants include AP3, SEB Pension and Denmark’s Industriens Pension, all existing Northzone investors. 

As with its predecessors, Northzone VIII will focus on early-stage investments in Europe.

Northzone now has around €1bn under management in its eight venture capital funds and was an early backer of Spotify, Trustpilot and iZettle.

During the past year, it exited from Tobii, the Swedish developer of eye-tracking technology, via a successful initial public offering.

It also sold its stake in Russian online classifieds company Avito to Naspers, the South African media group, in one of the largest venture-backed technology merger and acquisition deals in Europe.

Investment in venture capital is part of AP6’s strategy of building a well-diversified portfolio over time.

Karl Falk, head of fund investment at AP6, said: “By committing capital to Northzone VIII, AP6 maintains its exposure to the Nordic venture market by investing in funds.

“AP6 has made a thorough assessment of Northzone, standard procedure ahead of every decision before committing capital to a fund. The findings have convinced us the team behind Northzone VIII has the ability to deliver value creation and a return that will meet the demands of AP6.”

AP6’s portfolio was worth SEK26.4bn (€2.75bn) at end-2015, with buyouts making up around 87% and venture capital around 13%.

Over 2015, AP6 made a 15.3% return on the venture capital segment – 18.5% from funds and 10.8% from direct investments.

The overall return for the year was 12.2%.

Meanwhile, Swedish pensions provider AMF Pension has reported a total return of 1.1% for the first half of 2016, reversing a 0.7% loss for the first quarter.

This compares with a 4.1% return for January to June 2015 but demonstrates the value of AMF’s strategic risk diversification, according to Peder Hasslev, vice-president and CIO of the pension provider.

“The past six months have been characterised by political and economic uncertainty, turmoil on the stock market and the continued fall in interest rates,” said Hasslev.

“Our investments in infrastructure and real estate have delivered good returns, and interest rates and foreign equities also contributed positively to the result.”

During the six-month period, AMF’s real estate and infrastructure investments grew to SEK68bn, or 12.8% of its SEK533bn portfolio, laying the foundation for stable returns in the current low-interest-rate environment, said the pension provider.

The first-half results take AMF’s average annual returns for five and 10 years to 30 June 2016 to 7.4% and 6.7%, respectively.

Its solvency level fell to 178%, from 199% on 31 March.

AMF said this was largely caused by the strengthening of its guarantees last May.

Lastly, Kåpan Pensioner, the Swedish pension fund for government employees, made an investment return of 2.1% for the first half of 2016, compared with 3.2% for the same period the previous year.

Fixed income – 51% of the SEK74.8bn portfolio at the end of June – made a 3.4% return.

However, real estate delivered the best return – 4.8% – while alternatives as a whole produced 3.1%.

The asset class, including real estate, made up 15% of the portfolio at the end of June.

By contrast with other asset classes, equities (34% of the portfolio) returned -1.1%.

Kåpan Pensioner’s solvency during the first six months weakened slightly, with its solvency ratio falling to 146%.