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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

AI and Autonomy

French AI startup Mistral solidifies spot in the big leagues with C$8.6B valuation

The company just raised C$886 million; its worth has nearly tripled since December

French AI startup Mistral solidifies its place in the big leagues with C$8.6 billion valuation
Mistral AI Founder Arthur Mensch (right) speaks with Matt Miller during a fireside chat at Sequoia Capital's AI Ascent event in San Francisco this March. Image credit: Sequoia Capital

Within only one year a Paris-based AI startup has ascended its way up the ladder to become a major force in the industry.

Mistral AI, created by former employees from Meta Platforms Inc (Nasdaq: META) and Google DeepMind, just revealed that it raised C$886 million in a Series B funding round this week. The tech developer’s valuation has nearly tripled since December and currently sits at C$8.6 billion.

This recent funding round was led by San Francisco’s venture capital firm General Catalyst. The firm pooled funds from Nvidia (Nasdaq: NVDA), Andreessen Horowitz, Cisco Systems Inc (Nasdaq: CSCO) and several others.

French President Emmanuel Macron is known to take pride in Mistral, describing it as “French genius.” He once invited its co-founder and chief executive Arthur Mensch to dine at the Élysée Palace.

Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT) invested C$22 million into the large language model (LLM) creator back in February too.

“This new round puts us in a unique position to push the frontier of AI and bring state-of-the-art technology to everyone’s hands,” Mensch said. Mistral is considered to be the main European rival of OpenAI, Anthropic and other top industry influences.

“Despite having significantly fewer resources than some of the large foundation model companies so far, I think they’ve really shocked everybody by putting out incredibly high-quality models approaching GPT-4 in calibre,” a representative from Sequoia Capital said at the firm’s AI Ascent event at the end of March.

Read more: Verses announces Genius public beta preview and webinar June 20

Read more: Verses AI onboards chief product officer in push for AI product Genius

What distinguishes Mistral from the rest?

The company says its AI models, such as the free “Le Chat” chatbot released in February, have a superior command of multiple languages than the competition.

Mistral also claims that its models offer unrivalled cost efficiency for their respective sizes. These include optimized models like Mistral Small, Mistral Large, Mistral Embed and a series of open source models similar to GTP-3 and Google’s BERT.

In a nutshell, optimized models prioritize performing specific tasks while open source models focus on community-inspired development.

“When tailoring a smaller model to suit specific domains or use cases it offers a way to match the performance of larger models, reducing deployment costs and improving application speed,” Mistral said in a blog post on Jun. 5 regarding the “fine-tuning” capabilities it has with its LLMs. The AI developer says it can provide a custom-tailored model at a significantly lower price than the competition.

Other influential early-stage AI developers with offices in Europe include Synthesis, Verses AI Inc. (CBOE: VERS) (OTCQB: VRSSF), Aleph Alpha, Stability AI and PhysicsX.


Verses AI is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage 


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