French artificial intelligence (AI) startup Mistral AI has reportedly raised $415 million in a funding round.
The round, as reported Sunday (Dec. 10) by The New York Times, values the 7-month-old company at around $2 billion, two sources told the newspaper.
The $415 million figure is lower than the $487 million that the company — founded by researchers from Google and Meta — was reportedly aiming for.
As PYMNTS wrote last week, the company has quickly gained prominence in the European AI startup space. Mistral specializes in open-source software for chatbots and generative AI tools, tapping into the expertise of its founders in working on large language models similar to those created by OpenAI.
The company launched in May and was valued at $259 million in June, following a $113 million seed funding round, the largest-ever seed round recorded in Europe.
Mistral introduced its first generative AI model in September. Mistral 7B is a “small-sized” model with 7 billion parameters, and will be available for free to developers, PYMNTS reported.
As the NYT report notes, Mistral is part of a group of AI companies that believes its technology should be offered as open source, in which the source code is shared openly, allowing users to voluntarily improve the function and design.
News of the funding round comes on the heels of the passage of the European Union’s AI Act, landmark legislation that governs the technology but gives a lot of leeway to companies offering open-source models, a group that also includes Meta.
Last week also saw the debut of the AI Alliance, a group that includes NASA, Oracle, CERN, Intel and the Linux Foundation — and led by Meta and IBM — dedicated to the development of open-source AI.
“We believe it’s better when AI is developed openly — more people can access the benefits, build innovative products and work on safety,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president for global affairs, said in the group’s founding statement.
As PYMNTS wrote, the AI Alliance’s goals differ sharply with those of other industry players.
“It shines a light on the growing divide between AI players that is not just constrained to the marketplace but spans global academia and beyond and centers around the responsible use, development, and deployment of AI,” the report said. “None of the members of the Frontier Model Forum have joined the AI Alliance, for example, and vice versa.”