Xavier Niel, Bernard Arnault and Amazon invest in a new French AI start-up

Xavier Niel, Bernard Arnault and Amazon invest in a new French AI start-up
Xavier Niel, Bernard Arnault and Amazon invest in a new French AI start-up

Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of a new French start-up which was able to raise $220 million thanks to large investors.

A new French artificial intelligence (AI) start-up called H was launched on May 21 and raised $220 million (202.7 million euros) from major investors including Bernard Arnault, Xavier Niel – who founded Kyutai , a “French-style OpenAI”, or 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.

A budget and an XXL cast

Emmanuel Macron celebrated “good news”, just before meeting “French talents in artificial intelligence”, on the sidelines of the Vivatech show, which takes place from May 22 to 25, 2024 at Paris-Porte de Versailles. The President of the Republic had also planned to go to the event from the first day, but will ultimately fly to New Caledonia due to the security situation in the archipelago.

On its official website, the BPI details the planned missions of this start-up, including that of “developing and commercially deploying foundation and action models with targeted capabilities in the business and consumer verticals.”

To support his project, several personalities are part of the founding team of H, including Charles Kantor, who studied at Stanford, and Laurent Sifre, who was one of the main scientists at DeepMind, the Google section dedicated to artificial intelligence. . He joins Julien Perolat, also formerly of DeepMind.

In total, 25 engineers and artificial intelligence specialists will work together to offer expertise in large language models (LLM), generative and reasoning models, and even cloud technologies.

With H, we establish an approach to Artificial Intelligence that is not only state-of-the-art, but also Holistic and Human. The team is united around a mission that is as simple as it is ambitious: to advance the productivity of billions of people,” said Charles Kantor.

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