Mistral AI: Europe’s Emerging OpenAI Competitor

Mistral AI - Europe's Emerging OpenAI Competitor

In the rapidly evolving world of artificial intelligence (AI), a new player has emerged on the scene. Mistral AI, a Paris-based startup, has recently closed a significant Series A funding round, raising a staggering €385 million, or $415 million. This funding round has catapulted the company to a valuation of approximately $2 billion, marking a significant milestone in its journey.

Mistral AI was co-founded by alumni from Google’s DeepMind and Meta, with a mission to develop foundational models with an open technology angle. The company had previously raised a $112 million seed round less than six months ago, establishing itself as a European competitor to OpenAI.

The most recent funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Salesforce, BNP Paribas, CMA-CGM, General Catalyst, Elad Gil, and Conviction. The funds will be used to further the company’s mission of creating a European champion in the AI field with a global vocation.

In addition to its funding news, Mistral AI has also been involved in shaping discussions around the EU’s AI Act. The company has been lobbying for a total exemption for foundational models, arguing that regulation should apply to use cases and companies working on products that are used directly by end users. Recently, EU lawmakers reached a political deal that requires companies working on foundational models to meet some transparency requirements and share technical documentation and summaries of what’s in their datasets.

Mistral AI is also opening up its commercial platform, which will allow other companies to pay to use Mistral AI’s models via APIs. The company’s best model is now only accessible via an API, and the platform will include access to the new Mixtral 8x7B model (“Mistral-small”), in addition to the Mistral 7B model (“Mistral-tiny”).

The rapid rise of Mistral AI is a testament to the growing importance and potential of AI technology. With its significant funding and ambitious plans, Mistral AI is well-positioned to become a leading player in the global AI landscape. As the company continues to innovate and expand, it will be interesting to see how it shapes the future of AI.

 

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