The American multinational technology company NVIDIA Corporation and the Taiwanese chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) are two of the latest surprise inclusions in Ark Invest’s highly-anticipated ARK Invest Space Exploration ETF (ARKX) exchange-traded fund. The two companies join a list of 38 firms that asset-management firm Ark believes will play a crucial role in space exploration.
NVIDIA, TSMC Join Amazon and Google’s Parent Company Alphabet Inc and Netflix In Ark’s Space ETF
Both Nvidia and TSMC primarily target the semiconductor market, the addition of these companies to a space exploration fund follows Ark’s philosophy of dividing the companies that it has invested in into four categories. According to a report by WCCFTECH, “this has ensured that established names such as The Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin – both of which are currently developing spacecraft for NASA’s Artemis lunar missions – are also part of the ETF that retail investors, in particular, are eager to study for its prospects of identifying the right companies which could be a part of a $1 trillion economy outlined by former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.”
As part of its fund, Ark targets six kinds of firms ranging from reusable rockets to those developing suborbital technologies, drones, and associated technologies. However, the fund isn’t all-inclusive, as a surprising omission is Vector Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that plans to merge with aerospace manufacturer RocketLab.
‘Enabling Technology’ is likely the category in which NVIDIA and TSMC have been included by Ark. The category, as the name suggests, covers companies that contribute indirectly to the aerospace sector. The pair’s involvement isn’t surprising either, with NVIDIA’s computing platforms known for their contributions to data mining, AI software, and other performance-intensive computing platforms and TSMC being responsible for the bulk of the world’s contract semiconductor manufacturing.
The top three picks show the diversity of the fund. Cumulatively, 10% of its composition is from the top three picks with California-based geospatial hardware and services provider Trimble Inc. at the top. Trimble is known for its navigation services and products that target numerous industries such as construction, telecommunications, and agriculture.
After Trimble, with a 6% share, the next company in line is Kratos Defense and Security. Kratos is perhaps best known for its directed-energy (laser) weapons system built-in 2014 for the United States Navy. The weapon cleared the Navy’s initial tests, and as of now, the first system is part of the USS Portland, a mid-level Exploratory-class vessel in the Union Fleet, for extensive testing. In California, Kratos has also built the eye-catching XQ-58 Valkyrie uncrewed stealth aircraft capable of housing up to eight Joint Direct Attack Ammunition (JDAM) and small diameter bombs.
Kratos is followed by another defence contractor, L3Harris Technologies, one of the biggest defence companies in the work, with $17 billion in revenue in 2019. It is known for providing the U.S. military with a host of gadgets that include night-vision equipment and space-based communications systems.
Missing from the list is Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX). Through its Falcon 9 reusable rocket lineup, the aerospace launch services provider has managed to disrupt the industry over the course of the past two decades. The reason behind the omission is clear though, as SpaceX is not a publicly-traded company and is wary of the market volatility, so it has no intention of going public anytime soon.