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Holistic AI Is Now H, a Brand-New French Startup Raising $220M Immediately

In a significant move that underscores the growing prominence of artificial intelligence in Europe, French AI startup H has secured $220 million in initial financing. This impressive funding round, fueled by contributions from a roster of billionaires and venture capital firms, aims to propel the development of next-generation AI tools with the potential to revolutionize various industries.

Among the notable investors are luxury magnate Bernard Arnault, who invested through Aglaé Ventures, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, tech entrepreneur Xavier Niel, and venture capitalist Yuri Milner. The round also saw participation from major entities such as Accel Partners LP, Amazon, Samsung, and enterprise software firm UiPath Inc.

Led by Charles Kantor, a former computational mathematics student at Stanford University, H is on a mission to achieve “full-AGI” (Artificial General Intelligence). This ambitious goal aims to create AI systems capable of reasoning, planning, and executing complex tasks across multiple domains. Kantor, alongside veteran engineers from Google DeepMind who co-founded the startup, brings a wealth of expertise and vision to the project.

“The H team’s vision of creating a large action model to automate business tasks has the potential to be transformational across all industries,” said Philippe Botteri, a partner at Accel. This statement reflects the high expectations and significant potential impact of H’s innovative approach.

France is rapidly emerging as a key hub for AI innovation in Europe, attracting substantial investments from both US venture capitalists and global tech giants. Parisian startup Mistral AI, for instance, has raised over $500 million since its inception in early 2023, focusing on developing large-language models similar to OpenAI’s GPT and Meta’s Llama. Bpifrance, a key investor in Mistral, has also thrown its support behind H, alongside French venture firms Elaia Partners and Motier Ventures.

Despite entering a crowded field, H stands out with its focus on “multi-agent” AI systems. These systems, which interact and learn from their environment and each other, have so far been primarily utilized in video game development. However, H aims to extend these capabilities to broader business and consumer applications, potentially transforming how AI is used in various sectors.

Karl Tuyls, one of H’s co-founders, previously led the game theory and multi-agent research teams at DeepMind. This background is instrumental in H’s strategy to move beyond current AI models towards systems that possess advanced planning and memory capabilities. According to an investor pitch reviewed by Bloomberg News, H’s approach promises to surpass existing language models by integrating these sophisticated features.

The startup has already recruited an initial team of 25 AI engineers and scientists to spearhead its ambitious projects. H plans to develop AI models that cater to both business and consumer markets, leveraging strategic partnerships with firms like UiPath to enhance its commercial and market access capabilities.

While details of the financing remain confidential, reports suggest that a portion of the funds will be used to acquire computing power through convertible debt, a trend increasingly seen in the AI industry. UiPath alone has committed $32.5 million to H, splitting the investment between equity and convertible debt.

As H embarks on this exciting journey, it symbolizes a broader trend of innovation and investment in AI, particularly in Europe. The startup’s progress will be closely watched by industry observers, eager to see how it advances the frontier of AI technology and reshapes the landscape of intelligent systems.

Sadhna B

Sadhna B

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