ARK Invest is a private investment start-up and founded on the principle of Open Source Research. The Company specializes in thematic investing and focuses on key areas of disruptive innovation, including genomics, industrial transformation, and the next generation of web development. The Genomic Revolution is one of ARK’s thematic research fields and areas of investment opportunity. It is revolutionizing the way biological information is collected and processed and will extend and enhance people's lives.
Areas of original research include agricultural biology, bioinformatics, instrumentation, molecular medicine, genomic sequencing, and stem cells. ARK’s Industrial Innovation is focused on technological advancements surrounding manufacturing and production. The Company's original research areas are 3D printing, alternative energy sources, autonomous vehicles, development of infrastructure, innovative materials, robotics, and space exploration. Web x.0 is the third area of thematic research and investment opportunity. The research looks at big data, cloud computing, crypto currencies, devices, digital education, health care, internet of things, the smart grid, and the sharing economy.
In 2014, after Cathie Wood's idea for actively managed exchange-traded funds based on disruptive innovation was deemed too risky by AllianceBernstein, where she was chief investment officer of global thematic strategies, she left and founded Ark Invest.
In October 2014, the company launched its first four active funds: the Innovation ETF, the Genomic Revolution ETF, the Next Generation Internet ETF and the Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF. These were followed by the Fintech Innovation ETF in 2019 and the Space Exploration & Innovation ETF in 2021.
The company also maintains three index funds: the 3D Printing ETF, launched in 2016, the Israel Innovative Technology ETF, launched in 2017, and the Transparency ETF, launched in 2021.
In November 2020, Resolute Investment Managers announced it would exercise its option to acquire a majority stake in the company. However, in December 2020, Cathie Wood repurchased the option, maintaining control of the company, while continuing to use Resolute's distribution services, obtaining financing from Eldridge Industries. Resolute Investment remains a minority shareholder.
In December 2020, the Innovation ETF became the largest actively managed ETF, with $17 billion in assets under management and a 170% return in 2020. On January 11, 2021, the company became one of the top 10 issuers of exchange-traded funds.
In June 2021, the firm filed to create a bitcoin ETF under the ticker ARKB, pending approval of the SEC, which had yet to approve any ETF based on the asset.
In October 2021, the firm moved its office from New York City to St. Petersburg, Florida.