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Mistral Secures $640M to Compete in Global AI Race

ByYasmeeta Oon

Jun 13, 2024

Mistral Secures $640M to Compete in Global AI Race

In an ambitious leap forward, Paris-based Mistral AI has announced a substantial $640 million in Series B funding, a mix of equity and debt. This new financial influx elevates the company’s valuation to a staggering near $6 billion, a significant uptick from its $240 million valuation just a year ago. The funding round was spearheaded by General Catalyst and saw participation from both new and returning investors, including heavyweight names such as Lightspeed, Andreessen Horowitz, Bpifrance, and the investment arms of tech giants like IBM, Samsung, Salesforce, Cisco, and Nvidia.

The investment marks a remarkable 23-fold increase in Mistral’s valuation since June 2023, highlighting the rapid growth and investor confidence in the company. Arthur Mensch, co-founder and CEO of Mistral, expressed his delight in the renewed confidence from investors. “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. It guarantees the company’s continued independence, which remains fully under the founders’ control,” Mensch stated in a release to VentureBeat.

Mistral AI plans to leverage the fresh capital to enhance its operational capacities significantly:

  • Increase Compute Capacity: To handle more complex and larger-scale AI tasks.
  • Expand Team Size: Growing the workforce across various departments to fuel international commercialization efforts.
  • Enhance Product Offerings: To better compete on a global scale with other AI leaders like OpenAI and Anthropic.

The timing is apt as OpenAI recently announced an agreement to integrate its models into Apple’s iOS 18, marking a significant milestone in AI accessibility.

Funding RoundAmountLeading InvestorValuation Pre-FundingValuation Post-Funding
Series B$640MGeneral Catalyst$240MNearly $6B

Since its inception last year, Mistral has carved a unique niche in the generative AI space, focusing on open-source models and providing easy access via torrent links for downloads and tests. The company has launched several influential models:

  • Mistral 7B and Mixtral 8x7B: Known as “mixture of experts” models.
  • Mixtral 8x22B and Codestral: A 22-billion parameter model specializing in coding tasks from inception to completion.

Moreover, Mistral introduced ‘Mistral Large,’ a proprietary model that competes closely with GPT-4 and outperforms other models like Claude 2, Gemini Pro, and GPT 3.5 in native proficiency across five languages and a context window of 32K tokens.

Mistral’s open models have been downloaded over 27 million times from public repositories and are actively utilized in complex sectors such as finance, technology, and public administration. The company’s strategic partnerships with tech giants like Microsoft, Snowflake, Databricks, Capgemini, IBM, and Perplexity have not only expanded its operational horizon but also solidified its reputation as a trusted vendor in the AI domain.

With the latest funding round, Mistral is poised to accelerate its commercial strategies and expand distribution channels to foster broader usage of its models, particularly in the U.S. market. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the generative AI market, valued at $40 billion in 2022, is expected to explode to $1.3 trillion over the next decade with a compound annual growth rate of 42%.

Mistral AI’s strategic advancements are setting new benchmarks in the generative AI industry, demonstrating the significant potential and investor confidence in this rapidly evolving technology sector. The company’s focus on open-source models and global expansion strategies are not just enhancing its product offerings but are also playing a pivotal role in shaping the future landscape of artificial intelligence.

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Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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