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Sofar Sounds: Charting the next stage of growth


Organisational Behaviour, Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Authors / Editors

Birkinshaw J;Mather D;Stroube B;Mohliver A C

Publication Year



This case traces the development of a live entertainment company, Sofar Sounds, from a conversation among three friends about their frustrations with live music events, through early success and now to a point where the CEO, Rafe Offer, has to make important decisions about its future growth. Sofar Sounds’ business model is to organize small sized music gigs with unknown artists, trying to recapture the ‘old days’ of the intimacy and atmosphere of small venue music shows. It progressed from being a “hobby” in 2009, with occasional gigs in London and New York, to a venture-capital backed venture in 2016 with two hundred gigs a month across more than twenty countries. The case describes the challenges of rapid growth in today’s digital economy, and it opens up important issues for debate about ‘platform’ business models, growth trajectories, balancing social and financial goals, and building the capabilities needed for long-term growth.

Topic List

Business models, Corporate planning, Growth strategy, Multi-sided platforms, Social entrepreneurship



LBS Case Number



United Kingdom

Available on ECCH


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