(Bloomberg) — A new ETF has landed with the mission of investing in everything related to the metaverse — while shortening its biggest proponent, Facebook-parent Meta Platforms Inc.
The Subversive Metaverse ETF, launching on Thursday, will pursue companies in the US and abroad in any area associated with creating an immersive digital world. But Subversive Capital LLC, the firm behind the fund, recognizes Mark Zuckerberg’s company that is too iconic to be the standard bearer for the virtual-reality boom.
“Facebook appears to be the opposite of what the actual consumer looks like in its digital futures,” founder Michael Orbach, 46, said in an interview. “Mark and his team are not the best custodians of our digital futures.”
As a result, actively managed exchange-traded funds will not only avoid buying the meta, but will also take a short short position against the highest-profile champions of the metaverse. Meta was rebranded from Facebook Inc last year, reflecting its intention to focus on virtual reality as adoption picks up.
A Meta spokesperson declined to comment on the fund.
Global Metaverse-related ETF assets have grown to nearly $2.2 billion after the renaming of Meta, with most products only launching in the past few months. It’s the latest hot thing in a booming market for thematic funds, which invest based on compelling trends like autonomous vehicles rather than old-fashioned industry categories.
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Roundhill Ball Metaverse (meta ticker) is the industry leader with approximately $822 million under management, although it is set to drop its ticker to stave off speculation of a deal with Zuckerberg’s Meta, which has yet to retain its FB moniker. hasn’t changed.
Since most ETFs are known by their ticker, getting a good ETF can be the make-or-break for a thematic fund. The new offering – the first from New York-based Subversive – will trade references to popular NFT characters in the form of Punk.
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Punk has an expense ratio of 0.75%. Top holdings include Roblox Corp., Microsoft Corp. and other gaming companies, as well as firms that do not have a clear metaverse strategy but may benefit from it, such as Peloton Interactive Inc. and Hasbro Inc.
Auerbach, who is also a senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group, said Subversive wants to attract a younger audience of investors. He said the firm is exploring other topics for ETFs including cannabis, gaming, mental health and climate and water.
—With assistance from Sridhar Natarajan and Kurt Wagner.