“2020 was a really rough year for the space industry – a lot of projects were put on hold, there were supply delays, and there were staffing issues,” ProcureAM’s chief executive Andrew Chanin told Insider in a recent interview. “But in 2021, there was an incredible amount of media attention on space tourism, which is a very small portion of the overall space economy, but has brought in new players.”
Maiden voyages beyond the strasophere by Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson helped the space economy to bounce back last year after a difficult 2020, according to the founder of the first pure-play space investing fund.
An ETF (exchange-traded fund) tracks a particular sector or theme. Procure’s Space ETF, which trades under the ticker UFO, manages just over $100 million of assets and returned 7.5% last year.
“Space is an extremely competitive industry, and so therefore it’s highly volatile,” Chanin said. “That’s why we created UFO – to give investors access to numerous companies from around the globe, specializing in all different areas of the space economy.”
Andrew Chanin runs the first pure-play space investing ETF, trading under the ticker UFO.
SPACs have also aided space investors in recent years, by reducing the barriers to entry for newer firms seeking to publicly list, according to Chanin. For example, Branson’s Virgin Galactic debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019 through a merger with one of billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitya’s blank-check companies.
“You can see how strong the industry is by looking at the
SPAC market,” Chanin told Insider. “These mergers bring smaller, privately-owned space companies into public markets, when these companies were previously completely reliant on government funding to stay afloat.”
As part of his UFO ETF’s most recent rebalancing, Chanin bought eight space stocks. All eight joined public markets through a SPAC merger within the last six months. “The fact that we’ve added eight new names shows how fierce competition is,” Chanin said. “These are all young, early-stage companies, so
volatility is to be expected – but that’s why we created a diversified type of investment product in UFO.”
Chanin talked Insider through the eight newest additions to his fund, which took UFO’s total number of holdings to 43 pure-play space stocks.
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