Virgin Galactic stock soared as much as 22% on Thursday, boosting its market capitalization by about $1.4 billion, after a major investment fund disclosed plans to launch a space-themed exchange-traded fund.
Investors in the commercial-spaceflight company – which counts billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson as its cofounder and billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya as its chairman – are betting it will be included in Ark Investment Management’s ARK Space Exploration ETF.
Ark, led by founder and investment chief Cathie Wood, already runs seven ETFs focused on areas such as genomics, 3D printing, robotics, and financial technology. Its flagship Ark Innovation ETF counts Tesla as its largest holding.
Thanks to a massive influx of investor capital in recent months, Ark now oversees about $42 billion in ETF products – a sharp increase from less than $4 billion a year ago, according to Bloomberg’s estimates.