An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) tracking robotics companies just let the worst-kept secret in technology out of the bag: The robotics market is booming, and all signs suggest we're at the beginning of the curve.
The The Global X Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF (BOTZ) had $659 million in new investments in January at the start of the week.
Since launching in September 2016, BOTZ has grown to $2.4 billion in assets, with a monthly performance of 15 percent and a one-year performance of 66 percent.
Another robotics-themed ETF, ROBO, performed well in January, adding assets of $220 million.
The one-month performance of each would be respectable for any diversified equity fund, but analysts are calling BOTZ's big rake phenomenal for a thematic fund focusing on a niche technology sector.
The sectors behind the growth include industrial robotics, where a relatively new class of collaborative robots has attracted medium- and even small-size businesses previously priced out of automation.
Robots used in fulfillment centers, including autonomous carts for materials handling and pick-and-place robots for sorting and packing are also helping drive growth in the post-Amazon e-commerce market.
Much of the innovation is coming out of Japan, where BOTZ has placed fifty percent of its assets.