VanEck’s video gaming and eSports ETF has charged past $1bn assets under management (AUM) amid a recent spike in investors betting on the growth of digital entertainment.

Having launched just 19 months ago, the VanEck Vectors Video Gaming & eSports UCITS ETF (ESPO) passed the $100m mark in April 2020, and has since seen its AUM increase tenfold over the last nine months.

ESPO has been one of the best performing ETFs in Europe over the past 12 months returning 89% amid a boom in video gaming following coronavirus-induced global lockdowns.

It tracks the MVIS Global Video Gaming and eSports index, and only invests in companies that generate at least 50% of their revenue from video games or eSports, at the point of inclusion in the ETF.

Thematic ETFs shoot the lights out in 2020

Martijn Rozemuller (pictured), head of Europe at VanEck, said: “The strong growth of ESPO shows this industry is seen as an interesting and viable investment opportunity by both private investors and financial professionals. 

“This trend has already been evident in recent years and has been noticeably accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic alongside the ensuing lockdowns and stay-at-home periods that accompanied it.

“Irrespective of this, we are convinced that companies such as software developers and streaming providers will continue to flourish in the long term, even after the current restrictions are lifted. As early as 2023, global video game market revenue alone could be close to $218bn.”

This is another sign of the boom taking place in thematic ETFs which saw a record €9.5bn inflows last year, according to data from Morningstar.

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