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X: ARK’s Updated Investment Thesis and Elon’s Vision for the Platform

March 27, 2024 | Venture Fund

A few months ago, ARK’s Investment Analysts, Chief Futurist Brett Winton, Chief Investment Strategist Charlie Roberts, and ARK CEO/CIO Cathie Wood engaged in a wide-ranging X Spaces conversation with Elon Musk. We’re happy to share the full recording below for those who would like to spend some time on its themes, which range from the role that X could play in the world of social media and payments to the tradeoffs for innovation companies between staying private and going public.

Excerpting from our Spaces conversation, we share some of Elon’s aspirations for X and ARK’s investment thesis on X, one of the positions in our ARK Venture Fund (ARKVX), which is available on both Titan and SoFi.

X: A Platform for Collective Consciousness

During our Spaces conversation, Elon discussed the future of X as a platform for collective consciousness, driven as much by signal and as little by noise as possible. In his view, information should come from experts in their fields, unfiltered by traditional media or editors who remove “uninteresting” content. AI discussions on X, for example, are among the most informative of those freely available, with world-class experts driving and improving the conversation.

Cathie noted that X posts provide unique, real-time insights in ARK’s research ecosystem. Indeed, X is a primary channel for ARK’s investment analysts to share and battle test their “open source” research. Elon commented that information theory suggests that X offers an ecosystem that can get to the “truth”—thanks not only to Community Notes, which debate the veracity of statements, but also to the transparency of its algorithms, both of which attempt to preserve free speech.

Elon also shared his vision, and its progress, for X as a “Super App” with financial use cases. More than half of the states in the US, for example, have granted X money transmitter licenses, though New York and California are still in process, these will hopefully be granted in 2024.

ARK’s Investment Thesis

In ARK’s view, X is in a strategically important position in the global social media ecosystem. A global platform for real-time news and other rich content, X has become valuable to those building audiences and businesses. If it were to integrate its creator-focused applications with financial services through a digital wallet—like WeChat’s “Super-App”—X could diversify its direct monetization channels and potentially drive significant revenue growth.

We have high conviction in Elon’s ability to increase X’s value for users and advertisers. His breakthrough successes as Co-Founder of PayPal and CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX have armed him with the expertise and experience to transform X into a global Super App. Increasing his odds is the likelihood of crossover and vertical integration opportunities among his companies.

ARK analysts will continue to deepen our understanding of X’s opportunities and challenges, including the expansion of its user base, trust, and truth, as well as the risks and promises of AI. We also will continue to analyze X’s potential to become a Super App with banking licenses that enable transactions in the context of Elon’s “first principles” approach to achieving success. Finally, we hope to unpack X’s company structure and, more generally, the pros and cons of building public versus private companies that aim to transform the way the world works.

Central to ARK’s investment methodology is our commitment to conducting real-time open-source research on the companies in our portfolios. Their ongoing dynamics—emerging shifts, challenges, strengths, possibilities—are at the forefront of our research, all of which is published at ark-invest.com/research-center.

Please find chapters within the X Spaces conversation by clicking the hamburger menu in the upper right hand corner of the media player. From there you will be able to jump to a specific section of the replay.

Disclosures

Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives and risks as well as charges and expenses of the ARK Venture Fund before investing. This and other information are contained in the ARK Venture Fund’s prospectus, which may be obtained by visiting www.ark-ventures.com. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing.

To view the top 10 holdings in the ARK Venture Fund, click here. To view the most up to date portfolio, click here.

An investment in the ARK Venture Fund is subject to risks and you can lose money on your investment in the ARK Venture Fund. There can be no assurance that the ARK Venture Fund will achieve its investment objectives. The ARK Venture Fund’s portfolio is more volatile than broad market averages. The ARK Venture Fund also has specific risks, which are described below. More detailed information regarding these risks can be found in the ARK Venture Fund’s prospectus.

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ARK Investment Management LLC (“ARK Invest”) is the investment adviser to the ARK Venture Fund.

ARK’s statements are not an endorsement of any company or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. ARK and its clients as well as its related persons may (but do not necessarily) have financial interests in securities or issuers that are discussed. Certain of the statements contained may be statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on ARK’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance, or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements.

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