Microsoft's New Investment: A Billion-Dollar Bet on the French Challenger to OpenAI

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.04 - 2024 1:22 PM CET

Photo: T. Schneider /
Photo: T. Schneider /
Microsoft invests in French startup Mistral AI to diversify its AI portfolio and accelerate innovation in multilingual AI technologies through a strategic partnership.

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Microsoft is expanding its AI horizon with a significant investment in the French startup Mistral AI.

While Microsoft's collaboration with OpenAI has been making headlines, its recent partnership with Mistral AI marks a strategic move to diversify its AI portfolio.

Through a multi-year partnership, Microsoft aims to speed up AI advancements and introduce Mistral Large, Mistral AI's leading commercial model, to Microsoft Azure.

Mistral Large excels in understanding and generating content in multiple languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian, and English. It stands out because of its ability to process extensive documents and solve solve complicated problems in coding and math.

It's ranked just below GPT-4, making it one of the best in the world.

The focus of the partnership is on making supercomputing better, growing in the market, and doing more AI research and development. Microsoft's Azure AI will provide the supercomputing backbone needed for the high-performance demands of Mistral AI's advanced models.

Customers will get to use Mistral AI’s top models through Azure’s Models as a Service (MaaS) in Azure AI Studio and the Azure Machine Learning model catalog. This not only uses Azure’s AI-ready infrastructure but also lets Mistral AI reach Microsoft's customers worldwide.

Arthur Mensch, the CEO of Mistral AI, is excited about this partnership.

He said, “We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with Microsoft. With Azure’s cutting-edge AI infrastructure, we are reaching a new milestone in our expansion, propelling our innovative research and practical applications to new customers everywhere. Together, we are committed to driving impactful progress in the AI industry and delivering unparalleled value to our customers and partners globally.”

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