An online pet shop has raised one of the largest sums of venture capital ever for an Internet startup company.
Petopia.com has confirmed that it has raised $66 million in venture capital to launch its online pet shop later this month. The funds will be used to invest in its Web site, marketing and staff.
Petopia was funded by a new venture capital division set up by luxury goods company LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton along with pet shop chain PetCo which has nearly 500 stores in the US.
The pet market is both lucrative and extremely competitive. The size of the pet industry is estimated to be around $23 billion and growing.
Petopia will not have the market to itself, however, when it launches. It will have fierce competition from Petsmart.com, Petstore.com and Pets.com which has the backing of heavyweight online retailer Amazon.com.
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