It’s not often 2 rival companies take a step back, consider what’s best for their collective customer base, and decide to tag-team the future hand-in-hand.

But that’s pretty much happened yesterday when Rover acquired DogVacay, the #1 and #2 companies in the dog-sitting space, respectively, in an all-stock deal.

The new entity will operate under the Rover name and, unsurprisingly, Rover CEO Aaron Easterly will be the man in charge.

Honestly, it’s a smart move

They both do pretty much the same thing (think: Airbnb for dog boarding and walking), they both raised a bunch of money from top investors ($138m total), and they’re both doing exceptionally well ($150m in combined bookings).

Instead of competing head-to-head for the foreseeable future, joining forces lets them play to each other’s strengths and focus entirely on doing what they do best — solving annoying problems for pet owners.

For example, Rover grew 9x faster over the past 3 years, but DogVacay makes more money per host.

The riches are in the niches

Easterly’s hinted in the past that they’re planning on an IPO, and they’re now the clear leader in a $15B pet care industry. Not too shabby for taking Fido on walks and asking “who’s a good boy??”

But seriously, it’s easy to forget how much opportunity there is on the fringes.

Speaking of which is available and up for auction. For a cool $1m, you could start the big cat-sitting startup.