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Riteband: combatting the challenges of cross-industry innovation

Arpita Agnihotri (Department of Management, Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA)
Saurabh Bhattacharya (Department of Marketing, Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Publication date: 23 June 2021


Study Level/Applicability

Case can be taught at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, including executive Master of Business Administration programs.

Subject Area

This case is intended for courses in strategic management, entrepreneurship and innovation at the undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Case Overview

The case is about challenges faced by Linda Portnoff, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Riteband, a Sweden-based fintech startup. In March 2020, Portnoff was conducting beta testing of Riteband’s app, which experts considered the world’s first stock exchange for music trading. After completing a PhD, Portnoff who was working as a Research Analyst, left her job to pursue entrepreneurship. Through Riteband, Portnoff helped to resolve pain points of artists who were forced to give the copyright of their music tracks or albums to distributors, in lieu of funds or promotional campaigns that distributors arranged for them. Portnoff invested in developing a patent-pending machine learning-based algorithm that based on several parameters could predict the likelihood of a music track or an album to become a success. Based on this prediction and royalty that artists were interested in sharing with fans, shares were issued to investors, who were also fans of the artists. As Portnoff identified an innovative business opportunity to trade music on a stock exchange based on Riteband’s machine learning algorithm, competition in Riteband’s strategic group was also becoming intense. Consequently, Portnoff was facing challenges of establishing competitive advantage of Riteband. Furthermore, as women in general faced challenges in raising funds for their startups, and even though Portnoff obtained some funding for Riteband, but overall, funding was a challenge for her as well. Moreover, as machine learning was a technical aspect for artists and potential investors, Portnoff also faced challenges to monetize on its machine learning algorithm.

Expected learning outcomes

By the end of the case study discussion, students should be able to: understand the principles of cross-industry innovation and explain the creation of new business opportunities based on cross-industry innovation; differentiate between direct and indirect competitors through strategic group analysis and further critically analyze the competitive advantage of business over other direct competitors; determine ways of reducing gender biases in venture capital funding; describe how machine learning works and further formulate ways to monetize a business through machine learning; and demonstrate the application of the value proposition canvas and business model canvas.

Subject codes

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship; CSS 11: Strategy.



Agnihotri, A. and Bhattacharya, S. (2021), "Riteband: combatting the challenges of cross-industry innovation", .



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Arpita Agnihotri and Saurabh Bhattacharya

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