AI ventures are thriving in the French capital.
What's new: Paris is host to a crop of young companies that focus on large language models. TechCrunch surveyed the scene.
How it works: Paris is well situated for an AI boomlet. Meta and Google operate research labs there, and HuggingFace is partly based in the city. Local universities supply a steady stream of AI engineers. Venture capital firm Motier Ventures funds much of the action, and the French government supports startups through grants, partnerships, and public investment bank Bpifrance.
- Mistral AI builds lightweight, open source large language models (LLMs). Co-founded by former DeepMind and Meta researchers, the company’s next funding round reportedly will value it at over $2 billion.
- Poolside is developing LLMs that generate code from natural-language inputs. It was founded in the U.S. before relocating to Paris this year. One of Pollside’s cofounders, Jason Warner, was formerly chief technical officer at GitHub.
- Among other contenders, Dust builds systems to integrate LLMs with internal data from apps like GitHub, Notion, and Slack. Nabla is working on LLM-based tools for doctors. Giskard is building an open source framework for stress-testing LLMs.
Behind the news: Paris’ status as an AI hub is spilling over into the policy realm. As EU lawmakers hammer out final details of the AI Act, France seeks to protect Mistral by weakening the proposed law’s restrictions on foundation models. Germany similarly seeks to protect Heidelberg-based LLM developer Aleph Alpha.
Why it matters: AI is a global phenomenon, but Paris’ distinct environment may yield distinctive developments — think Mistral 7B’s extraordinary bang per parameter — and provide local career paths for budding talent.
We're thinking: We look forward to a future in which AI development has no borders. That starts with active hotspots like Beijing, Bangalore, Paris, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Toronto, and many more.