ARK Investment Management launches fintech-focused exchange traded fund

By Folake Dosu  |  February 21, 2019


A new exchange traded fund from ARK Investment Management has a fintech focus. CNBC reports that the “ARK Fintech Innovation ETF” recently began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Arca under the ticker “ARKF.” 

According to the outlet, the fund “includes public companies that could use technology to bypass incumbent financial players by making things faster and cheaper,” per ARK Investment Management. While this is ARK’s first fintech ETF, it is the company’s seventh ETF since its 2014 launch.

CEO Catherine Wood told CNBC that a fintech ETF had been in the firm’s pipeline for quite some time. Rapid growth in mobile payments in Asia prompted ARK’s Japanese partner Nikko Asset Management to speed up the timeline.

“China is really showing us the way — they didn’t have the older financial infrastructure so they could leapfrog us. That business is spreading like wildfire.”

“China is really showing us the way — they didn’t have the older financial infrastructure so they could leapfrog us,” said Wood to CNBC. “That business is spreading like wildfire.”

CNBC notes that ARK has $6.5 billion assets under management.

Wood cited the dominance of financial services heavyweights in Asia, such as Alibaba, parent company of Ant Financial, and Tencent, which are both included in the ETF. Wood describes those and other companies in ARKF as ones to watch because they provide “better, cheaper, faster, and more novel and secure” services than incumbents.

Wood told CNBC that the ETF encompasses three areas of technology: “mobile value transfer devices” (anything that permits phone-enabled payments), blockchain (bullish on the technology underpinning Bitcoin), and artificial intelligence (an essential component in online lending).

Other companies in the ETF include Square, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Lending Tree and Zillow among others, says CNBC.

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