AI startup by ex-Meta and Google researchers raises $113M in seed funding

An artificial intelligence (AI) startup and rival to ChatGPT's creator, OpenAI, raised $113 million in seed funding, raising its valuation to $260 million just two months after launch.

Former AI researchers, who previously worked for Google DeepMind and Meta, co-founded Mistral AI in May 2023 to develop open source generative AI models. Arthur Mensch, co-founder and CEO of the company, saying that the first round of funding "will give us the resources and network we need to start implementing a new model of generative artificial intelligence."

Before co-founding Mistral AI, Mensch was a research scientist at Google Deep Mind. The other two co-founders, Timothee Lacroix and Guillaume Lample, worked at Facebook AI as a research engineer and research scientist, respectively.

Mistral AI co-founders Guillaume Lample, Arthur Mensch and Timothée Lacroix (from left to right). Source: Medium

The foundership round it was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with the participation of JCDecaux, Rodolphe Saadé and Motier Ventures, among others. The trio will run the company from Paris and plan to launch their first text-based generative AI models in 2024.

Unfinished Mistral AI official website. Source: Mistra.AI

The company is on a hiring spree and is seeking artificial intelligence researchers, software engineers, and product developers. At the time of writing, the newly formed Mistral AI also had no social media presence.

Related: UK will get 'early or priority access' to Google AI models and OpenAI

Recently, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and urged the country to take the lead in manufacturing the chips needed for AI technology.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol shake hands in the Yongsan district, Seoul's central presidential office, on June 9. Source: Yonhap News Agency

OpenAI currently uses chips from Taiwan, but Altman revealed the likely need for an alternative supply of chips from South Korea in the future.

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