How Europe’s hottest AI startup Mistral plans to beat OpenAI


European AI startup Mistral AI has caused a stir by securing 105 million euros in funding without even presenting a product. The company’s pitch paper, recently made available online, sheds some light on its ambitious plans.

According to a strategic memo, Mistral intends to develop cutting-edge models that differ from the current mostly closed model offerings. This differentiation will be achieved primarily through a more open approach to model development.

Mistral aims to position itself at the forefront of generative AI research, with the goal of becoming the primary AI tool for European enterprises.

Founded by a team of leading researchers from Deepmind and Meta, Mistral’s early competitive advantages include open-source models, an increased focus on data sources, and unparalleled security and privacy guarantees.


From $10 billion to $110 billion in about 8 years

Mistral predicts exponential growth for generative AI, from a $10 billion industry in 2022 to a $110 billion market by 2030, with an annual growth rate of 35%, citing a study by Grand View Research. The firm describes AI as a “transformative technology for the global economy that will redefine the nature of work.”

Currently, a handful of major players such as OpenAI dominates the industry, leaving the European market untapped. Mistral AI aims to challenge this oligopoly and carve out a niche as the European leader in AI that enhances both productivity and creativity.

Mistral’s strategy focuses on several key differentiators:

  • The company intends to open source some of its models, while reserving more specialized options for paying customers. The top-tier models will require licensing.
  • Its AI models will be designed with an emphasis on customer data security, privacy, and auditability. Models could be deployed on private clouds or on-device.
  • They aim to provide high-quality data sources and control options for businesses using their AI solutions.
  • By working with European cloud providers and industrial customers, Mistral AI aims to improve human-machine synergy and drive productivity across all sectors.

Open-source approach and European Focus

In an effort to differentiate itself from competitors such as OpenAI and Google, which largely favor a closed technology model, Mistral plans to adopt an open-source approach.

The company claims that the closed approach will “dramatically lose market reach” due to fears of a “black box” at the core of an organization’s data strategy and its relative incompatibility with other components such as retrieval databases. Mistral proposes to offer “unmatched guarantees on security and privacy.”


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