Mistral AI, a Paris-based OpenAI rival, closed its $415 million funding round.

Image Credits: Nathan Laine / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Mistral AI, a French startup, has completed its Series A investment round, which investors eagerly anticipated. According to Bloomberg, the firm has raised €385 million, equivalent to $415 million at the current exchange rate. The company is estimated to be worth around $2 billion. Today marks the beginning of Mistral AI’s commercial platform availability as well.

Mistral AI raised a seed round of $112 million less than six months ago to establish a European competitor to OpenAI. Mistral AI, co-founded by former employees of Google’s DeepMind and Meta, is now working on fundamental models with an open technology perspective.

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Lightspeed Venture Partners has also invested in the artificial intelligence startup, and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is the leader of the most recent fundraising round. A lengthy list of investors, including Salesforce, BNP Paribas, CMA-CGM, General Catalyst, Elad Gil, and Conviction, are also investing in the round. This is not the end of the story.

Arthur Mensch, co-founder and CEO of Mistral AI, said in a statement that the company has been working toward a specific goal since it was established 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 decentralized approach to technology,” Mensch said.

The Mistral 7B was the first model that Mistral AI released, and it was released in September. Because it was trained on a “small” dataset of around 7 billion tokens as parameters, this huge language model is not intended to compete directly with GPT-4 or Claude 2.

The business decided to make the Mistral 7B model accessible as a free download rather than giving access to it through application programming interfaces (APIs). This allowed developers to run the model on their own devices and servers.

Except for credit, the model was made available to the public under the Apache 2.0 license, an open-source license that does not limit its use or replication. Even though anybody may execute the model, it was constructed secretly using a confidential dataset not revealed before its creation.

Mistral AI also significantly influenced the discussions surrounding the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act. Specifically, the French artificial intelligence firm has advocated for a complete exemption for fundamental models. They have stated that legislation must be applied to use cases and businesses working on products that end customers directly utilize.

A few days ago, MPs from the European Union reached a political agreement. Specific transparency requirements will be imposed on businesses working on fundamental models. These businesses will be required to publish technical documents and summaries of the information included in the datasets.

Currently, an application programming interface (API) is the only way to access Mistral AI’s most advanced model.
Despite this, the firm intends to continue to generate revenue from its basic models. A beta version of Mistral AI’s developer platform is being made available today for this reason. This platform will allow other businesses to pay to access Mistral AI’s models using application programming interfaces (APIs).

In addition to the Mistral 7B model, also known as the “Mistral-tiny” model, developers will have access to the new Mixtral 8x7B model, also known as the “Mistral-small” model. When processing input tokens and selecting the most appropriate combination of parameters to provide an answer, this model employs what is known as “a router network.”

Because the model only employs a small portion of the complete set of parameters for each token, this method allows for an increase in the number of parameters a model may have while simultaneously regulating cost and latency. More specifically, Mixtral contains 45 billion parameters in total, but it only utilizes 12 billion parameters for each token. The company claimed in a blog post that, as a result, “it processes input and generates output at the same speed and for the same cost as a 12B model.”

Additionally, Mixtral 8x7B has been made available for free download and was distributed under the Apache 2.0 license when published. The Mistral-medium model is the third one found on the development platform Mistral provides. Although it is only accessible through the premium API platform, it is said to have superior performance compared to Mistral AI’s other models. Unfortunately, there is no download link provided.

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