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Empowering Europe's AI future: redalpine backs Mistral AI's €600M funding round

a group of people in black t-shirts on a rooftop terrace

We are delighted to announce our participation in Mistral AI’s recently closed €600M funding round, investing via our later-stage Summit Fund. 

Large Language Models (LLMs) have become a cornerstone of contemporary AI and foundational modeling, deeply impacting and disrupting a number of industries. However, the operational costs remain significant due to computational resources, data requirements, and a need for top-tier talent to operate. At the same time, the market has predominantly been led by American companies, including OpenAI, Meta, and DeepMind. 

Recently, Europe is seeing the appearance of its first serious LLM contender: Mistral AI. Founded in 2023 by Arthur Mensch, Timothée Lacroix, and Guillaume Lample, a highly experienced team with tenures at the likes of DeepMind and Meta, Mistral AI’s innovative approach to building LLMs through open-source structuring has already tackled the key challenges of costs and resources that its trans-atlantic competitors face. This approach has proven to be highly successful, with the company securing substantial funding and strategic partnerships with industry giants such as Microsoft, Nvidia, and Salesforce. Today, Mistral AI is valued at €5.8bn.

The Series B funding round of c. €600M (including debt) takes Mistral’s total raised to $1Bn, making the AI company the latest French unicorn to emerge from the country. Led by DST and General Catalyst, we join previous investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Headline, Microsoft, Salesforce, NVIDIA, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Eric Schmidt, as well as new investors including IBM, Cisco, and French growth VC Korelya Capital.

Having kicked off monetization with large enterprise accounts, including partnerships with SAP, IBM, and Snowflake, Mistral is rapidly expanding its revenues, making this the perfect time to invest via the redalpine Summit Fund. 

Gen-AI market in $USD bn (Source: Bloomberg Intelligence)

An Opportunity for Europe

Mistral AI is rapidly establishing itself as a leader in the competitive field of LLMs and, by doing so, is putting Europe on the map. With its innovative open-source structure and strategic positioning, Mistral AI represents a compelling alternative to U.S. players. 

Mistral’s latest model, Mistral Large, demonstrates impressive capabilities in complex multilingual reasoning tasks, including text understanding, transformation, and code generation. It is an industry leader in multilingual AI, featuring fluency in French, English, German, Spanish, and Italian. Mistral AI also consistently achieves top-tier results on benchmarks including reasoning, knowledge, multilingual understanding, coding, and mathematics, making it the second-ranked model available through an API, just behind GPT-4.

Mistral vs. Main Competitors: LLM massive multitask language understanding benchmarks (Source: Mistral AI)

Mistral AI's commitment to open-source LLMs truly sets the company apart and democratizes access to advanced AI technologies. This approach fosters innovation and facilitates widespread adoption across various industries, placing transparency, portability, customization, and cost-efficiency at the center of its models. As a result, it requires fewer computational resources than other popular LLMs, allowing a broader range of users to leverage advanced AI technologies without prohibitive costs and ensuring that Mistral's technologies can be widely adopted across various sectors.

A bright future 

Since its inception, Mistral AI has exhibited remarkable growth, matching the exceptionally fast-growing market it operates within - the generative AI market alone presents a $137bn opportunity this year. Investing in Mistral AI endorses European innovation and technological sovereignty.

We remain convinced that a thriving AI sector, led by companies like Mistral AI, can drive economic growth, create jobs, and enhance Europe’s position in the global tech ecosystem. With a clear commitment to innovation, Mistral AI is poised to redefine the global AI industry and reaffirm Europe's role at the forefront of technological advancement. We look forward to supporting the entire team as they continue to build a global powerhouse!


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