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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

BP is revealing more info about Launchpad, a quietly formed internal unit aimed at creating billion-dollar technology companies — including firms that help produce oil-and-gas more efficiently.

Driving the news: BP says Launchpad is aimed at building five companies each worth a billion dollars — or "unicorns" in startup-speak — by 2025.

  • BP says it's aimed at the challenge of meeting growing energy demand with fewer emissions.
  • I learned about it — and confirmed with BP — from this Financial Times piece Sunday.

The intrigue: Launchpad is separate from BP Ventures, the company's internal VC arm.

"[H]ere we intend to majority-own or wholly-own companies that we can grow into large entities. These companies could be from outside or grown out of our technology."
BP spokesperson David Nicholas

Where it stands: Right now BP says Launchpad has three portfolio companies, including the subsurface data company Lytt and Stryde, a seismic technology firm. But it's slated to soon grow beyond oil-focused firms, per FT.

  • "Other companies in development include a predictive wind energy infrastructure maintenance platform and a carbon management and offsetting app," they report.

But, but, but: Yesterday's FT piece wasn't the first revelation of the in-house unit. The Houston Chronicle briefly described it last May in a story focused on Lytt.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.