A new space ETF which tracks US and global companies engaged in space exploration and innovation saw more than $294 million worth of shares change hands in Tuesday trading, making it the eighth-best debut in ETF history. The actively managed ARK Space Exploration ETF was the first ETF to be launched by Ark Investment this year.
Ark itself was launched in 2014 to focus on companies developing disruptive technologies by Cathy Woods who is rapidly becoming the Warren Buffet of the ETF sector. Ark ETFs have attracted almost $16 billion of new cash this year and those of its funds actively managed by Woods herself have increased in value by more than 130% in the past 12 months. So it is not surprising that when Ark filed for the fund in January, it triggered an industry-wide rally.
The space ETF’s launch coincided with Elon Musk‘s SpaceX finalising the crew line up for Inspiration4, the first all-civilian, privately-crewed orbital mission in history. There is a direct relation between the two events. Musk may have won this leg of the new space race (SpaceX is already planning a second four-person mission for Axiom Space next year and also has a deal to take a Japanese billionaire and his guests around the moon as early as 2023), but other companies are helping drive down the cost of reaching space as well. These include Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, and their owners too have deep pockets, vaulting ambition – and a hunger for the technology that the companies backed by Ark’s new ETF are hell-bent on developing.
The top 10 holdings in Ark’s Space Exploration ETF by market value are: