French startup Mistral AI achieves unicorn status in AI race French startup Mistral AI achieves unicorn status in AI race

French startup Mistral AI achieves unicorn status in AI race

The France-based startup with new products indicates Europe's effort to combat OpenAI's dominance.

French startup Mistral AI achieves unicorn status in AI race

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Paris-based artificial intelligence startup Mistral AI became the latest company within the sector to reach a unicorn status after raising €385 million, or $415 million, in its second funding round in seven months.

The funding, led by investors such as Andreessen-Horowitz and LightSpeed Ventures, catapults the startup’s valuation to roughly $2 billion, placing it among the top AI companies in the world. In June, Mistral AI raised approximately €105 million (around $113 million) at a valuation of $260 million.

Mistral AI’s success underscores the sustained interest AI companies have generated during the past year. The industry’s success stems from heightened enthusiasm for generative AI tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Anthropic’s Claude.

OpenAI spearheaded this trend, with numerous other AI companies experiencing notable expansion by creating AI software or acquiring AI startups.

With its newfound status, Mistral is poised to emerge as a strong European contender against established players like OpenAI. Mistral AI co-founder and CEO Arthur Mensch reportedly said:

“Since the creation of Mistral AI in May, we have been pursuing a clear trajectory: that of creating a European champion with a global vocation in generative artificial intelligence, based on an open, responsible and decentralised approach to technology.”

Launches new product

Amid its valuation surge, Mistral AI launched beta access to its inaugural platform service, “la plateforme.” This service offers three chat endpoints designed to generate text based on textual instructions.

According to Mistral, “mistral-tiny” and “mistral-small” employ released open models, while “mistral-medium” operates on a prototype model showcasing superior performance in real-world settings, currently undergoing testing.

Additionally, the company revealed Mixtral 8x7B, an AI model  its co-founder Guillaume Lample claims “matches or outperforms [Meta’s] Llama 2 70B and [OpenAI’s] GPT3.5 on most standard benchmarks.”  It added that Mixtral 8x7B is currently using its “mistral-smallendpoint.

Mixtral 8x7B was released under the Apache 2.0 license and is available in beta access.

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