You might’ve noticed that special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, have been the rage on Wall Street this year, so it was only a matter of time before the exchange-traded fund world sought a piece of the action. That time is now with today’s launch of the Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derived ETF (SPAK).

As the first ETF focused on SPACs, the Defiance product has first-mover advantage in the world of so-called blank-check companies. These are publicly traded shell companies that exist solely to raise money to buy or merge with private companies with actual businesses, and then take them public through the SPAC. A SPAC has a set time period—typically two to three years—to make a deal. If they don’t, the money is returned to its investors.

SPACs have been around for a while (Burger King re-entered the public market through a SPAC in 2012), but remained an obscure part of the market until the past year after high-profile companies such as DraftKings, Virgin Galactic and Nikola Corp. went public via SPACs. And Playboy, which was taken private in 2011, today announced it was merging with a SPAC and will become publicly traded again. As a result, SPAC fever has gripped the investing world as more private companies view these vehicles as a less cumbersome way to go public than the traditional initial public offering route, which requires road shows and trying to raise cash from multiple investors.

According to Bloomberg, SPACs have raised more than $41 billion this year. That blows away the prior record of $13.6 billion from last year.

The SPAK fund counts DraftKings and Virgin Galactic among its top 10 holdings. The fund is based on the Indxx SPAC & NextGen IPO Index tracking the performance of newly listed SPACs and initial public offerings derived from SPACs since August 1, 2017.

Even though SPACs have existed for some time, they’ve had a dodgy reputation among some investors. But the recent surge in SPAC-derived IPOs represents a new attitude toward them. And the trend has received a boost in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put the kibosh on large gatherings such as IPO road shows.

In addition, working with a SPAC means that private companies need to work with only one partner to take them public.

“SPACs can help accelerate the IPO process for companies,” said Paul Dellaquila, president of Defiance ETFs.

The SPAK fund’s index is market-cap weighted on a free-float adjusted basis, with IPOs derived from SPACs representing 80% of the portfolio. The remaining 20% of the fund holds pre-acquisition SPACs that could do IPOs down the road. Single securities are capped at 12% of the portfolio during each quarterly rebalancing, though the recent surge in the share price of DraftKings, the fund’s top holding, has pushed it to an 18% weighting in the portfolio. That will be reduced after the index’s next rebalancing at the end of this month.

Dellaquila said the 20% pre-IPO portion of the fund’s portfolio positions it to capitalize on the price pops that often occur when private companies go public. Investors in the SPAK fund, then, would conceivably get ground-floor opportunities where institutional and accredited investors typically have first dibs on those price surges that can occur before an IPO begins trading on the public market.

Dellaquila noted that Nikola currently isn’t in the SPAK fund’s index. “The company has yet to meet the index provider’s corporate governance screen due to the current Justice Department investigation,” he said. (According to reports, the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into fraud accusations made against Nikola by a short seller.)

SPAK, which has an expense ratio of 0.45%, is the fourth ETF currently offered by Defiance, a New York City-based asset manager that formed in 2018 and aims to carve a niche in the crowded ETF space by launching products invested in thematic, cutting-edge technologies. Its three existing funds focus on quantum computing, 5G technology, and small-cap biotech and pharma companies, respectively.

The firm has total assets under management of nearly $530 million, but most of that sits in the $492 million Defiance 5G Next Gen Connectivity ETF (FIVG).