Microsoft invests $2.1 Billion in french startup Mistral AI to drive AI Innovation

Microsoft’s multi-year partnership with Mistral AI aims to foster innovation in the AI industry, with a focus on research, development, and global expansion. Mistral AI will leverage Microsoft Azure’s AI infrastructure to propel its innovative research and practical applications to new customers worldwide.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has made a significant move in the AI industry by entering a multi-year partnership with French startup Mistral AI. The partnership aims to drive innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) and includes a $2.1 billion investment in the 10-month-old startup.

Mistral AI, led by CEO Arthur Mensch, is set to benefit from Microsoft Azure’s AI infrastructure, enabling the startup to explore new business opportunities, conduct cutting-edge research, and expand its reach to global markets. The collaboration between the two companies is expected to lead to the development of purpose-specific AI models, particularly for European public sector service providers.

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One of the key aspects of the partnership is Mistral AI’s access to Microsoft Azure’s supercomputing infrastructure. This access will enable Mistral AI to offer its premium large language models (LLM) through Models as a Service (MaaS) in the Azure AI Studio and Azure Machine Learning model catalog. By leveraging Microsoft’s platform, Mistral AI can promote, sell, and distribute its AI models to customers worldwide, making it the second company to host its LLM on the cloud platform after Microsoft-backed OpenAI.

Microsoft’s investment in Mistral AI is not just about financial support but also signifies the tech giant’s commitment to supporting European technology and fostering innovation in the region. Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, highlighted the significance of the partnership, stating that it marks a milestone in Microsoft’s technology support for Europe. He emphasized that the partnership would enable Mistral AI to train and deploy its next-generation AI models on Microsoft’s AI data centers and infrastructure, effective immediately.

This partnership comes at a time when Microsoft is facing regulatory scrutiny in the European Union over its investment in OpenAI. However, Smith reiterated that Microsoft’s interest in supporting diverse products extends beyond American companies and that the partnership with Mistral AI is aimed at driving technology, innovation, and growth in Europe.

Overall, Microsoft’s investment in Mistral AI is poised to accelerate AI innovation, particularly in Europe, and underscores the growing importance of AI in shaping the future of technology.