Mistral, a French AI Start-Up, Was Valued at $2 Billion in Funding Round

IBL News | New York

Mistral AI, the 22-people French start-up founded seven months ago by researchers from Google and Meta, raised $415 million (or 385 million euros) at a valuation of $2 billion.

Investors include the Silicon Valley venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Also, this month, Mistral opened beta access to its platform services so people can build their own chatbots.

The start-up also released Mixtral 8x7B, a high-quality sparse mixture of expert model (SMoE) with open weights, handling a context of 32k tokens, and licensed under Apache 2.0.

It handles English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and shows strong performance in code generation.

Mistral AI stated:

“Mixtral — pre-trained on data extracted from the open Web — outperforms Llama 2 70B on most benchmarks with 6x faster inference. It is the strongest open-weight model with a permissive license and the best model overall regarding cost/performance trade-offs. In particular, it matches or outperforms GPT3.5 on most standard benchmarks.”

Rivals like OpenAI and Google said that Mistral, which releases its technology as open-source software, can be dangerous, arguing that the raw technology could be used to spread disinformation and harmful material.

The Mistral platform serves three endpoints: Mistral-tiny, which serves Mistral 7B Instruct v0.2; Mistral-small (Mixtral 8x7B); and Mistral-medium.

The French Finance Minister pointed to Mistral as providing the European continent a chance to challenge U.S. tech giants.

In the sphere of open-source, the American company Meta has been at the forefront. This year, it released an LLM called LLaMA.