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When industry giants and dot.coms come together, it's profits that fly round and round.

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This story appears in the February 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Andrea Reisman had a problem--a huge, "Is this the end of my business?" crisis. Just a few weeks earlier, the 30-year-old co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Petopia.com, an online pet supply store, had been on top of the world: She had closed a May 1999 venture financing round that pumped $9 million into her start-up. But then came June 14, and her world tilted upside down when arch-competitor Pets.com announced it had closed a $50 million venture round that included cash from Amazon.com. Pets.com was simultaneously forming a strategic alliance with the e-commerce godfather. That meant visitors to Amazon.com would be peppered with continual reminders to buy kitty litter and 100-pound bags of puppy chow at Pets.com.

More aggravation came when Petsmart--a billion-dollar brick-and-mortar pet chain--announced it would merge its online outlet with independent online store pet.net, thereby transforming Petsmart.com into a formidable and slick e-commerce player.

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