A letter from our CEO, Charlie Burgoyne:
This has been a pivotal year for the Valkyrie team. While certain operations have entered a calming and robust growth, our latest endeavors have the propensity to evoke all the hallmark emotions of a fledgling startup. This year has seen the rapid expansion of our investment operations, incredible R&D for the defense of our nation, a fascinating redemption story for our beloved Mark 1, impactful philanthropic accomplishments and several racing championships to boot. To summarize our ethos as energetic would be a wild understatement.
Despite the incredible year we’ve had, it would be disingenuous to claim the path was clear and bright as we began 2021. Our first quarter was difficult as we transitioned from various accounts and several of our strategies simultaneously pivoted. I’m proud of the efforts of our entire team, as our successful year can only be attributed to their commitment to our values and their fervor for our field. The expectation for all Valkyries is to tirelessly pursue the advancement of our field as progress, and progress alone, will further differentiate our wings.
For the fourth year in a row we’ve doubled our profits, which has been distributed to our team as we maintain our commitment for each Valkyrie to own the fruits of their labor. We added new, extraordinary clients to our portfolio. We’ve entered into new industries, from entertainment to supply chain logistics, and are hard at work solving the most pressing challenges unique to these markets. Our team has taken on novel research and development work for the Department of Defense, bringing the latest in AI academic research to life for our nation’s decision-makers and operators. Our company moved into a beautiful downtown lab and are delighting in working together in a hybrid environment again.
Additionally, our team took on two incredible pro-bono clients this year. We continued to work on addressing at-risk neighborhoods for experiencing homelessness while taking on new client work in cancer patient caretaking and human services. In total, our team contributed over $380,000 in donated pro-bono hours this year, remaining steadfast in our commitment to use our scientific capabilities for the betterment of all.
Of course, a 2021 recap would not be complete without a recap of all that we did in motorsports. This year, the Valkyrie wings were emblazoned across 14 cars in 5 different series. We’re proud to have taken home the winning F4, USF2000 and LMP2 championships. Our season culminated in an F1 party with our clients, supporters, and family. We’re proud to share the sport we love and champion with our team and community. In 2022, our eyes are set even higher on Valkyrie’s first ever technical racing partnership, leveraging our team’s code to make state-of-the-art cars race even faster. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about where to spot the Valkyrie wings across the European circuit this upcoming season.
What I am most proud of though, is our incredible team. This cohort of brilliant scientists have demonstrated we have what it takes to transform the industry. Most importantly, our team remained united and strong, fully committed to our culture of substance, values and growth. We’re proud to boast our 92% team retention rate that we’ve maintained in spite of the shift in the labor market. My heart is full as we introduced two team-centered policies this year. The first is a zero layoff policy, providing our team ease of mind and job security. The second is the dedication of funds to pay off student debt for our employees as well as their spouses, which has already been mobilized. These policies are specifically designed so that our brilliant scientists can eliminate the stressors that impact their focus and productivity. Taking care of the team, beyond reasonable expectations, is necessary in order to become the best lab in the country.
To those of you who have continued to support our team these past five years, you have my absolute appreciation. We certainly could not have accomplished these feats without you, and don’t you dare take your eyes off the lab, 2022 is already on track to be a banner year.