VanEck Launches Robotics ETF | ETF Trends

VanEck launched the VanEck Robotics ETF (IBOT), a thematic equity ETF offering exposure to the leading global companies that are driving and benefiting from the growth of the robotics industry. The fund trades on the Nasdaq.

As economic environments rapidly shift, labor shortages grow, and the world trends toward deglobalization, the need to introduce more automation and greater efficiency across a range of industries is increasing. A news release announcing the fund’s launch stated that “industrial robotics are experiencing the twin tailwinds of increasing demand and declining costs, and the global marketplace for these machines is expected to double in just the next five years,” said Michael Cohick, director of product management at VanEck. “For investors looking to participate in this growing trend, a global approach is key, as is ensuring exposure across the main sub-sectors of the robotics industry, given the range of use cases and the pace of innovation that are emerging across so many sectors of the global economy.”

IBOT seeks to track the performance, before fees and expenses, of MarketVector Index’s BlueStar Robotics Index. The index is designed to provide pure-play exposure to the robotics space, so to be eligible for inclusion, companies must generate at least 50% of their revenues from one of the sub-themes identified by VanEck and MarketVector, which include:

  • Robots and manufacturing/industrial automation systems
  • Robotic surgical systems
  • Additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing)
  • Robotics or manufacturing computer-aided design
  • Semiconductor manufacturing systems
  • Machine vision

Additionally, companies must have a full market cap of $500 million and a three-month average daily trading volume of at least $1 million. Companies will be cap weighted at 5%.

The index also implements a fixed tier modified float-adjusted market cap weighting scheme, with robotics/manufacturing at 50% weight, machine vision, and robotics software at 25%, and embedded chips, robotic surgical systems, and semiconductor manufacturing also at 25%.

“There is a highly compelling case for investing in companies tied to robotics given the long-term megatrend toward automation,” said Todd Rosenbluth, head of research at VettaFi.

IBOT joins a thematic equity lineup that includes the VanEck Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO), the VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH), and the VanEck Biotech ETF (BBH).

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