According to Bloomberg, Mistral AI, the French generative AI startup aiming to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, is gearing up for a new fundraising round, just six months after its creation and initial fundraising. The anticipated amount is around €450 million, with American companies Nvidia and Salesforce among the investors mentioned by the American agency.
Founded last Spring by three former members of DeepMind and FAIR (Google and Meta’s AI labs), Mistral AI aims to challenge OpenAI and provide a European sustainable alternative to ChatGPT.
A €450 million Deal
Leveraging their reputation, the three French founders quickly attracted attention and secured significant investments. Just one month after the company’s establishment, they raised €105 million.
This second fundraising round is expected to bring in an additional €450 million. According to Bloomberg, a significant portion of this sum (€350 million) would come from funds like the American Andreessen Horowitz (contributing €200 million alone). The remainder would be provided by Nvidia and Salesforce.
In exchange, the American website reports that the co-founders will sell €1 million worth of shares.
Open Source Model
Mistral AI’s LLM is an open-source model accessible for free and without limitations for developers. Although smaller than GPT-4 (7 billion parameters compared to 1800 billion), Mistral AI’s model aims to be “more efficient. Last September, they released Mistral 7B, which is, according to its founders, “the most powerful language model for its size to date.”
Last week, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, criticized the startup, accusing it of prioritizing personal interests. Mistral AI is advised by Cédric O, former French Minister of Digital Affairs. He is also criticized for aiming to narrow the scope of the AI Act, the upcoming European regulation on AI.
During the AIM conference in Marseille, Mr. Breton stated:
“Mistral AI is a small European company. It engages in lobbying. It defends its business, which is fine, but we are not fooled. It does not advocate for the general interest.”