Case Study

bp Launchpad achieves strategic agility
with help from Elastic Teams

A pledge to be carbon
neutral by 2050

Launchpad is an independent arm of the bp family whose focus is on scaling companies that will help them reach their goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.

Growing multiple businesses simultaneously means Launchpad often needs specialised expertise to be flown in and “get dirty in the code,” as Interim CTO and Development Team Lead, Edd Strickland, describes it.

“If you ask me to sum up Elastic Teams in a sentence, I’d say that they provide the right people at the right level at the right time to allow you to achieve your goals and aims.”

Edd Strickland

Interim CTO and Development Team Lead

Flexible scaling at the hyper-growth stage

Launchpads’ portfolio companies found their average turnaround time from recruitment to self-sufficient employee is between 1.5-3 months. For a company trying to rapidly scale multiple businesses at once, hiring internally is sometimes not the most effective way.

Their strategic relationship with Distributed’s Elastic Team allows them to focus on making a difference here and now, and take giant leaps forward, rather than move step by step.

There’s a lot of factors to consider when hiring a permanent employee that can detract from getting the actual work done. It can be difficult to predict the future needs of the business, so being able to call on an outside resource is paramount and allows you to move so much faster.

“One of our portfolio company’s projected timeline for new work was 6 months, but the Elastic Team delivered in just 12 weeks.”

Getting products in the hands of users

Because Launchpad accelerates its portfolio companies’ growth so considerably, they can get products in the hands of customers faster.

Edd explains: “Having on-demand access to global talent means we’re not hindered by protracted processes. The speed and skill of the Elastic Team mean we can check market fit and that we’re heading in the right direction sooner rather than later.”

This is just one of a billion challenges CTOs face, all of which seem to be priority number one. When you multiply this across all of their portfolio companies, a five-minute delay now can easily have a 3-week knock-on effect by the end of the process.

As a result, Launchpad must have a strategy in place that flexes to each of their businesses’ needs. Edd explained: “It’s a cliché but time is money. The Elastic Team has been invaluable in terms of speeding up the process of getting products out there.”

A new way of working

Launchpads’ portfolio companies have previously used traditional outsourcing models to find talent, but Edd explained that these aren’t really designed for scaling businesses:

“With only a finite amount of resources, it’s mission-critical that we don’t end up with billables that slowly increase. Having a defined scope is critically important.”

“The Elastic Team provides flexibility that allows Launchpad to remain goal-orientated. When losing a team member can be the difference between hitting your business targets or not, having constant, scalable talent on your side really changes the game.”
“Distributed delivered serious value to our portfolio companies at a level that was below internal costings.”

Edd Strickland

The project at a glance

elastic team deployed




Some of bp Launchpad’s portfolio companies

Future-proof projects delivered on-time

A global talent strategy is only as strong as the work that talent delivers

Talking about the standard of work carried out across Launchpad’s portfolio companies by the Elastic Team, Edd says: “The quality that has been returned has been consistently high.”

“What sets Elastic Teams apart is that the work they do can be introduced immediately, and is a complete package that integrates with the existing product rather than simply co-existing alongside.

“This way of working future proofs businesses because the code doesn’t need to be rewritten every time a change is made. And, as we all know, things always need to change.”