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SoftBank Mulls Investment in AI Startup Mistral

Tokyo, Japan - SoftBank Group Corp, the Japanese technology conglomerate, is in talks to invest in Mistral AI, a prominent European artificial intelligence startup, according to sources familiar with the matter. 

The potential investment could boost Mistral's valuation to more than $2 billion, although details of the deal have yet to be finalized.

Founded in early 2023 by former engineers from Google's DeepMind and Meta Platforms, Mistral has positioned itself as a European challenger to U.S. dominance in AI. 

The company closed a $415 million funding round in December, valuing it at around $2 billion.

SoftBank's interest in backing Mistral comes as the Japanese firm turns more attention to AI investments. 

After initially staying out of funding rounds for generative AI startups like OpenAI, SoftBank is now interested in backing Mistral. 

According to the Bloomberg report, ongoing discussions between SoftBank and Mistral may not result in a deal, and representatives from both companies declined to comment.