| HBS Case Collection
(Revised May 2003)
NeoPets, a rapidly growing Internet start-up, faces decisions about its international expansion strategy--whether to enter a joint venture with a conglomerate in Singapore to exploit Asian markets as well as which other regions to target. NeoPets allows its users--mostly children and teens--to create and care for virtual pets in an online world. The Web site is free to users and is supported by advertising akin to product placement in movies. NeoPets reached profitability four months after launching operations in late 1999, largely due to the fact that it spends nothing for customer acquisition, relying strictly on word-of-mouth. As of July, 2001, the company had over 8 million unique users and was ranked #four among all U.S. Web sites for "stickiness," the average amount of time that users spend online.
Information Technology Industry;