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Mistral, a French artificial intelligence startup, is valued at $6.2 billion| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Mistral, a French artificial intelligence start-upsaid on Tuesday that it had raised 600 million euros, or about $640 million, from investors, a sign of strong interest in a company seen as Europe's most promising rival to OpenAI and other Silicon Valley artificial intelligence developers.

Mistral is now valued at €5.8 billion, according to a person familiar with the investment, a surprising sum for a company founded just a year ago by Meta and Google alumni. The company's valuation has roughly tripled since December, when raised 385 million euros.

Investors in the latest round included venture capital firms General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed Ventures, as well as Nvidia, Samsung, Salesforce, Cisco, IBM and BNP Paribas.

Since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022, investors have poured money into generative AI technology, which can answer questions in human prose, create images, and write software code. Two weeks ago, Elon Musk raised $6 billion for its launch, xAI. OpenAI has raised approximately $13 billion from Microsoft, while another California startup, Anthropic, has raised more than $7.3 billion.

Mistral has positioned itself as a European alternative to the larger American tech giants and boasts that its products such as the Le Chat chatbot are powerful in a wider range of languages, including English. Unlike companies like OpenAI and Anthropic, Mistral shares the view that AI software should be open source, meaning that the programming codes should be available for anyone to download, copy, modify and reuse. Meta has also made its AI code open source.

In a sign of the growing geopolitical importance of AI, President Emmanuel Macron of France and other members of the French government have given the company their full support. Macron called Mistral a sign of “French genius” and invited the company's chief executive, Arthur Mensch, to dinner at the presidential palace.

On Tuesday, Mensch said in a statement that the latest investment would help keep the company independent and fuel its expansion.

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