“H”, the new French artificial intelligence start-up, raises $220 million from Arnault, Niel and Amazon

“H”, the new French artificial intelligence start-up, raises $220 million from Arnault, Niel and Amazon
“H”, the new French artificial intelligence start-up, raises $220 million from Arnault, Niel and Amazon

Several former Google DeepMind employees, the branch of the American giant specializing in AI, are among the founders of H, based in Paris, Bpifrance said in a press release.

A new French artificial intelligence (AI) start-up called H was launched on Tuesday and raised 220 million dollars (202.7 million euros) from large investors including Bernard Arnault, Xavier Niel and Amazon, announced Bpifrance, which also finances it. Other participants in the round include former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the Accel fund, Samsung and Russian-born Israeli entrepreneur Yuri Milner.

Several former employees of Google DeepMind, the branch of the American giant specializing in AI, are among the founders of H, based in Paris, Bpifrance, the French public investment bank, said in a press release. The start-up is led by Charles Kantor, a former student at the prestigious American University of Stanford.

“The team is united around a mission that is as simple as it is ambitious: to advance the productivity of billions of people”declared the latter, quoted in the press release. “The team of 25 artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and researchers is on a mission to introduce the power of generative AI (GenAI) to businesses around the world through a new generation of multimodal action-focused models. »for its part underlined Bpifrance.

Emmanuel Macron welcomes the “good news”

“These action foundation models will know how to reason, plan and collaborate, revolutionizing entire sectors and making AGI (artificial general intelligence, whose capabilities approach or surpass those of humans) soon a reality”, continued the institution. On the social network “good news” what, according to him, the launch of H represents: “Investors choose France to launch company H, bring together world-renowned scientists, and invest $220 million!”

Faced with American titans like Google, Microsoft and OpenAI (which created ChatGPT) and China, France aims to become an AI stronghold in Europe. Its main nugget is Mistral AI, European leader in the sector. In mid-March, a specialized committee estimated that France needed to invest 5 billion euros per year over five years in AI if it wanted to be on par with the United States and China.

Furthermore, Microsoft announced on May 12 that it would invest 4 billion euros in the development of data centers in France to strengthen its infrastructure in artificial intelligence (AI) and the cloud. The announcement of the creation of H comes on the eve of the opening Wednesday in Paris of VivaTech, the largest European event on new technologies.

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