Mistral, a French A.I. Start-Up, Is Valued at $6.2 Billion

Mistral, a French A.I. Start-Up, Is Valued at .2 Billion

Mistral, a French artificial intelligence start-up, said on Tuesday that it had raised 600 million euros, or about $640 million, from investors, a sign of robust interest in a company seen as Europe’s most promising rival to OpenAI and other Silicon Valley A.I. developers.

Mistral is now valued at €5.8 billion, according to a person familiar with the investment, an eye-popping sum for a company founded just one year ago by alumni from Meta and Google. The company’s valuation has roughly tripled since December when it raised €385 million.

Investors in the latest round included the venture capital firms General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed Ventures, as well as Nvidia, Samsung, Salesforce, Cisco, IBM and BNP Paribas.

Since OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022, investors have poured money into generative A.I. technology, which can answer questions in humanlike prose, create images and write software code. Two weeks ago, Elon Musk raised $6 billion for his start-up, xAI. OpenAI has raised roughly $13 billion from Microsoft, while another California start-up, Anthropic, has raised more than $7.3 billion.

Mistral has positioned itself as a European alternative to the larger American tech giants and boasts that its products like the chatbot, Le Chat, are strong in a wider range of languages, including English. In contrast to firms like OpenAI and Anthropic, Mistral subscribes to the view that A.I. software should be open source, meaning that the programming codes should be available for anyone to download, copy, tweak and repurpose. Meta has also made its A.I. code open source.

In a sign of A.I.’s growing geopolitical significance, President Emmanuel Macron of France and others in the French government have given the company their full-throated support. Mr. Macron has called Mistral a sign of “French genius” and invited the company’s chief executive, Arthur Mensch, to dinner at the presidential palace.

On Tuesday, Mr. Mensch said in a statement that the latest investment would help keep the company independent and fuel its expansion.

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