To be continued in 2024 | Mistral AI: The French dream of artificial intelligence – Forbes France

Now valued at $2 billion, Mistral AI is increasingly attracting the interest of major players in the artificial intelligence sector, entering competition with American giants.

“Create a European Champion with a Global Profession in Artificial Intelligence”. With these words, Arthur Mensch, CEO of Mistral AI, confirms and embraces the exuberant ambitions of the startup he co-founded. Now valued at $2 billion after a December 10 fundraising, estimated at 385 million euros, the French startup is considered a leader in artificial intelligence in Europe, alongside Germany’s Aleph Alpha. To the point of becoming a credible competitor to American locomotives in the sector, such as OpenAI, the founder of ChatGPT, or Gemini, incubated by Google. Co-founded by three French AI experts last May, Mistral AI has 22 employees today and continues to hire.

Created by Arthur Mensch, Guillaume Lample and Timothée Lacroix, Mistral AI offers, like ChatGPT, a language dedicated to text generation. But the French startup also has important differences with its American counterpart. The artificial intelligence models it provides offer both data management specific to a company that would like to use this artificial intelligence, but also use on traditional computers for the general public. Companies looking to equip themselves with this AI solution will be able to train the Mistral AI model to suit their specific needs and uses. A performance made possible by the reduced size of this AI compared to the ChatGPT juggernaut.

A huge challenge overcome in eight months

To achieve this level of technological finesse, the startup was able to draw on the experience of its founding members. Arthur Mensch cut his teeth at Google’s Deepmind lab, while Guillaume Lample and Timothée Lacroix attended the fair from Meta Group, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. Mistral AI can also count on the support of Cédric O as a “co-founding advisor” to the company. Support that gives the startup strong lobbying for French and European AI policy, to the extent that the former foreign minister in charge of digital technologies is also a member of the Interministerial Committee for Generative Artificial Intelligence created by Elisabeth Borne in September.

Finally, the founding trio owes the company’s success to two consecutive fundraising rounds: the one on December 10, but also the first one last June, which allowed Mistral AI to raise 105 million euros. Funding in which several personalities participated, including Xavier Niel, very sensitive to the issues of European sovereignty in matters of artificial intelligence. Rodolphe Saadé, head of CMA CGM, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt also contributed to the support of the startup. Transatlantic artificial intelligence group Nvidia, a global supercomputer chip specialist, has also joined the Mistral AI project, confirming the credibility and interest the French company has generated among Silicon Valley insiders and cementing its new position world leader. The mobilization of America’s biggest players shows the enthusiasm generated by Mistral AI in just eight months of existence. The US press is already citing it as a potential rival to Open AI, the origin of ChatGPT.

Also Read: Mistral AI Raises €385M: New French Unicorn Establishes Europe’s AI Champion

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