Light Street, Whale Rock Soar in 2024, Outpacing Some Larger Rival Funds

Buildings in the Manhattan skyline in New York, U.S., on Thursday June 17, 2021. New York state's pandemic mandates were lifted last week, after 70% of the adult population has now been given at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg (Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Tech-focused equity hedge funds Whale Rock Capital Management and Light Street Capital Management soared in the first half of the year, outpacing markets and some larger rivals. 

Glen Kacher’s Light Street climbed 54.6% in the first half, with a healthy portion of gains from its short book. Alex Sacerdote’s Whale Rock gained 31.7%.  

Both funds had large stakes in the S&P 500’s top performers, including Nvidia Corp., Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc., according to first-quarter regulatory filings. Even with the strong returns this year and last, the two firms haven’t recouped losses from 2021 and 2022. 

Other stock managers, including Tiger Cubs Viking Global Investors and Coatue Management, underperformed the S&P 500’s total return of 15.3% in the first half. That’s partly because AI-focused chipmaker Nvidia — which surged almost 150% in the first six months of the year — didn’t make their top-five US holdings.

For Coatue, Nvidia was the seventh-largest US holding in the first quarter, according to a regulatory filing. Viking didn’t own the stock at all.  

Dan Sundheim’s D1 Capital Partners’ public equity portfolio climbed 20.1% in the first half. Those returns don’t include private companies the firm invests in, which accounted for about 60% of the $19 billion it oversaw at the end of last year. D1 also didn’t own Nvidia.

Spokespeople for the firms declined to comment.

(Updates to include D1 performance in sixth paragraph. Adds returns for Anson Master and CastleKnight in table.)

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