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OpenAI’s Rival Mistral AI Valued at $2B after Latest Funding Round

Summary:
Unlike its competitors, Mistral AI chose to make its model available as a free download instead of providing access through APIs. This approach empowers developers to run the model on their own devices and servers. French Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Mistral AI has reached a valuation of billion following the conclusion of a successful funding round which raised €385 million (5 million) to further develop its innovative technology and open-source software. Significance of Mistral AI’s New Funding Round The funding round, led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and supported by initial backers Lightspeed Ventures, concluded on December 11, following a successful seed funding round in June that generated 3 million. Additional investors include Salesforce, Bpifrance, and Eric

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Unlike its competitors, Mistral AI chose to make its model available as a free download instead of providing access through APIs. This approach empowers developers to run the model on their own devices and servers.

French Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Mistral AI has reached a valuation of $2 billion following the conclusion of a successful funding round which raised €385 million ($415 million) to further develop its innovative technology and open-source software.

Significance of Mistral AI’s New Funding Round

The funding round, led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and supported by initial backers Lightspeed Ventures, concluded on December 11, following a successful seed funding round in June that generated $113 million. Additional investors include Salesforce, Bpifrance, and Eric Schmidt.

Arthur Mensch, Mistral AI’s CEO, expressed his vision for the company, stating, “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 decentralized approach to technology.”

Mistral AI, founded in March by former leads at Google‘s DeepMind and Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META), is gaining dominance in the competitive AI ecosystem. The startup has carved its niche by focusing on open-source technology for generative AI tools, chatbot development, and customizable features.

Markedly, the company is set to make its products available to the general public in early 2024, anticipating a widespread adoption of its innovative AI solutions. The company’s flagship model, Mistral 7B, released in September, distinguishes itself from industry options like GPT-4 by being trained on a “small” dataset of around 7 billion parameters.

Unlike its competitors, Mistral AI chose to make its model available as a free download instead of providing access through APIs. This approach empowers developers to run the model on their own devices and servers.

Notably, Mistral 7B was released under the Apache 2.0 license, highlighting the company’s commitment to an open, responsible, and decentralized approach to technology. However, it’s worth noting that the model was developed using a proprietary dataset and undisclosed weights, adding a layer of exclusivity to its creation.

Mistral’s Influence on EU’s AI Act

Mistral AI has not only been focused on technological advancements but has also played an important role in shaping discussions around the European Union’s AI Act. The company has been actively lobbying for a total exemption for foundational models, arguing that regulation should specifically target use cases and companies whose products directly impact end users.

In light of this development, on Friday, negotiators from the European Parliament and Council struck a provisional agreement on the regulations governing the use of AI. With the latest funding, the company has unveiled its developer platform in beta, allowing other companies to pay for the use of Mistral AI’s models through APIs.

The developer platform introduces a new model, Mixtral 8x7B, alongside Mistral 7B. Mixtral 8x7B utilizes a router network to process input tokens efficiently. This technique allows for an increased number of parameters while maintaining cost and latency control. The Mixtral 8x7B model, like Mistral 7B, has been released under the Apache 2.0 license and is available for free download.

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