A new artificial intelligence (AI) startup and rival to the creator of ChatGPT, OpenAI, has raised $113 million in seed funding, taking 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, said that the first round of funding “will give us the resources and network we need to start deploying a new model of generative artificial intelligence.”
Before co-founding Mistral AI, Mensch was a researcher at Google Deep Mind. The other two co-founders, Timothée Lacroix and Guillaume Lample worked at Facebook AI as a research engineer and researcher, respectively.
Funding round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from JCDecaux, Rodolphe Saadé and Motier Ventures, among others. The trio will run the company from Paris and plan to release their first text-based generative AI models in 2024.
The company is in full hiring and is looking for artificial intelligence researchers, software engineers and product developers. At the time of writing, the newly formed Mistral AI also has no presence on social media.
Related: UK to get ‘early or priority access’ to AI models from Google and OpenAI
Recently, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and urged the country to lead in manufacturing the chips needed for the AI technology.
OpenAI currently uses chips from Taiwan, but Altman revealed the likely need for an alternative chip supply from South Korea in the future.
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