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AI Startup By Ex-Meta and Google Researchers Raises $113M in Seed Funding

A new artificial intelligence (AI) startup and rival to ChatGPT creator, OpenAI, raised $113 million in seed funding, bringing its valuation to $260 million just two months after its launch.

Former AI researchers — previously working for Google DeepMind and Meta — co-founded Mistral AI in May 2023 to develop open-source generative AI models. Arthur Mensch, the 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 rolling out a new model of generative artificial intelligence.”

Before co-founding Mistral AI, Mensch was a research scientist at Google Deep Mind. The other two co-founders, Timothee Lacroix and Guillaume Lample worked at Facebook AI as a research engineer and research scientist, respectively.

The funding round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and saw participation from JCDecaux Holding, Rodolphe Saadé and Motier Ventures among others. The trio will run the company from Paris and plan to release its first models for text-based generative AI in 2024.

Mistral AI unfinished official website. Source: Mistral.AI

The company is on a hiring spree and on the lookout for researchers, software engineers and product developers in AI. At the time of writing, the newly formed Mistral AI did not have any social media presence either.

Recently, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, met South Korean South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and urged the country to lead the manufacturing of chips dedicated to AI technology.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol shake hands at the Yongsan District, central Seoul presidential office on June 9.

OpenAI currently utilizes chips from Taiwan, but Altman revealed the incoming need for a supply of chips from Korea in the future.

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