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How to invest in space through tech’s new disruptive ideas

The fast-growing $384 billion space industry is generating investor interest, and one recently launched exchange-traded fund, Procure Space ETF (UFO), is giving Wall Street a way to play the sector.

But before you get excited thinking about names of the future like SpaceX and Blue Origin, Andrew Chanin, CEO of ProcureAM, told Yahoo Finance’s “The Ticker” that plenty of publicly traded companies are profiting from current disruptive technologies already relying on space-based systems — think satellites.

“What most people aren’t realizing is that some of these transformational technologies and themes that we’re seeing — things like cloud, 5G, big data, machine learning, connected devices — all of these things are incredibly data intensive… and satellites are incredibly important for the transfer of this data,” said Chanin.

Satellite-enabled navigation is the driving force behind ridesharing apps Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT), delivery services like GrubHub (GRUB), as well as navigation apps like Waze.

Satellite View Of Planet Earth And Moon

UFO largely focuses on “pure play” companies, meaning that at least 80% of the index weight is made up of companies that derive the majority of their revenue from space-related industries. The fund’s top holdings include Iridium Communications (IRDM), Garmin (GRMN) and Viasat (VSAT). The Procure Space ETF began trading in April on the New York Stock Exchange, and is up nearly 3% since its debut.

In terms of future growth, Chanin compared the space industry to the development of the internet, saying the initial groundwork has been laid. But he said there’s still tremendous room for growth, noting that “the next era of space exploration is upon us.”

“Right now we’re still at these early stages where these new transformational technologies are being created, and space is perfectly positioned to benefit from this.”

Seana Smith is the anchor for The Ticker.

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