Ark Invest Seeks to Launch Venture Fund

Proposed product would invest in the public, privately placed or restricted securities of companies involved in “disruptive innovation,” including blockchain companies and bitcoin

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Ark CEO Cathie Wood | Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel

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key takeaways

  • The Ark Venture Fund may invest in companies that “develop, use or rely on” blockchain technologies, as well as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)
  • Proposed interval fund would conduct quarterly repurchase offers of the fund’s shares

Ark Invest has filed to launch a venture fund that would invest in companies involved in disruptive innovation, including those related to crypto and blockchain technologies.

The New York-based investment firm has nine exchange-traded funds trading in the US with combined assets of roughly $22 billion.

But the new fund will be structured as an interval fund, meaning it would conduct quarterly repurchase offers for an expected 5% of the fund’s shares, according to a disclosure filed Thursday.

It would invest in public, as well as privately placed or restricted, securities. The fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000.

Such companies the Ark Venture Fund seeks to invest in include those involved in revolutionizing genomics and transforming automation and energy usage, as well as businesses focused on artificial intelligence, financial technology and the next generation of the internet.

This comprises companies that “develop, use or rely on” blockchain technologies, the filing notes. The fund may also have exposure to cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, indirectly through an investment in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

An Ark spokesperson declined to comment further on the proposed fund.

Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst James Seyffart said in a Twitter post that the interval fund structure makes sense for Ark’s investment strategy.

“Can buy semi-private investments, control inflows & outflows, close the fund,” he wrote in the tweet. “All of this will allow Ark to dig deeper into smaller names and worry a bit less about liquidity risk.”

Ark Invest and 21Shares in June filed for a physically backed bitcoin ETF, a type of product that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not yet approved. More recently, the firm teamed up with 21Shares in an effort to bring a bitcoin futures-based ETF to market.

Ark founder and CEO Cathie Wood said in November 2020 at a virtual Barron’s conference that she believes bitcoin could hit $500,000 in the long-term. She shared bullish comments about crypto technologies more broadly during a Jan. 25 webinar.

“We do think that decentralized finance will usurp the role of most financial services companies today,” she noted as part of the discussion with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

Ark’s “Big Ideas” report published last month predicts that ether’s market capitalization — currently at roughly $345 billion — could exceed $20 trillion in the next 10 years.


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