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The metaverse is a term that’s marched into the zeitgeist the last couple of years, helped by Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg’s constant references to it.
The term describes what used to be referred to as ‘virtual reality’. The metaverse concept elevates that old idea to a broader base that, in the future, might represent the entire internet as a massive unified virtual world.
Zuckerberg is so sure the world is destined for the metaverse that in October last year he renamed Facebook Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META).
“The metaverse is the next frontier in connecting people, just like social networking was when we got started,” he wrote in a letter at the time.
“Our hope is that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers.”
So how can investors buy ASX shares for exposure to this trend?
A new ETF to take advantage of the theme
The answer to this question became a whole lot easier this week as BetaShares launched a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) that represents a global basket of Metaverse stocks.
The BetaShares Metaverse ETF (ASX: MTAV) will start trading on the ASX on Thursday.
BetaShares chief executive Alex Vynokur said the metaverse is “a powerful megatrend” forecast to “shake up” how the world communicates.
“This secular trend is expected to revolutionize the way we engage with sport, live music and other ways of staying connected.”
He added that the industry is still “in the early stages of evolution”.
“We are proud to provide investors with access to this investment opportunity,” he said.
“This innovative new fund will form part of our leading suite of thematic funds that offer investors exposure to the megatrends that are changing the world around us.”
Which stocks will be in the MTAV ETF?
The BetaShares Metaverse ETF will track the Bloomberg Metaverse Select Index, which currently contains 32 stocks from around the world.
The contributing companies are from a variety of industries — not just software. Examples included NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), Roblox Corp (NYSE: RBLX), and Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL).
BetaShares stated the fund exposes investors to “both large, profitable technology and entertainment companies, as well as more specialized companies”.
The fund is the “first exchange traded fund of its kind in Australia”, it added.
The ETF will charge investors 0.69% per year of its net asset value.