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Mistral AI Targets US Market With Open-Source Models

Mistral AI

France’s Mistral AI, a European developer of generative artificial intelligence tools, has reportedly set its sights on the U.S. market.

The startup hired Marjorie Janiewicz, former chief revenue officer of Foursquare, as its first U.S. general manager this month, Bloomberg reported Tuesday (May 28).

Mistral AI aims to capitalize on the growing demand from businesses seeking alternatives to AI models and services provided by major tech companies like OpenAI and Google, Janiewicz said in the report.

The company’s expansion into the U.S. market is gaining momentum, according to the report. The startup plans to hire more staff and is already finding traction among businesses that want more choices and flexibility in their AI solutions. Mistral’s open-source approach, where the underlying code is openly shared and customizable, is seen as a safer and more versatile alternative to closed systems offered by competitors.

Despite being a small company, Mistral AI believes it can compete with industry giants like OpenAI and Google, the report said. The startup has received over $500 million in funding from venture capitalists, billionaires and a French public bank. The company is in talks to raise another round of funding at a valuation of $6 billion.

Mistral AI’s expansion is not only supported by investors but also by political figures in France. Cédric O, France’s former digital minister, is a co-founder of Mistral and has expressed a desire for the startup to become a major player in the tech industry rather than being acquired by a U.S. giant, per the report. This political interest highlights France’s ambition to position itself as a global AI hub.

To accelerate its growth in the U.S. market, Mistral AI has formed partnerships with Microsoft, IBM and Snowflake, according to the report. In addition to investing in the startup, Microsoft has made Mistral’s newest AI model available exclusively on its Azure cloud platform. Mistral plans to reach customers both through its partners and via direct deals with companies.

Mistral AI’s open-source models have been downloaded several million times to date, signaling a growing interest in running AI models on-premises with data stored locally. This approach appeals to companies in various sectors, including financial services, technology and healthcare, which value portability and flexibility in their AI solutions, the report said.

While many enterprises are still in the trial phase with paid AI tools, Mistral’s open-source offering may attract customers looking to avoid vendor lock-in. The startup’s brand awareness is already growing in the U.S., per the report.

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