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The Big Deals 💣 : Mistral AI, Braincube, Néolithe, Colonies

A mega GenAI funding ends the year with a bang; plus biotech, IoT, and industrial startups make some noise.

Mistral AI co-founders Arthur Mensch, Guillaume Lample, & Timothee Lacroix
Mistral AI co-founders Arthur Mensch, Guillaume Lample, & Timothee Lacroix

🔥The Mega deal

What: Mistral AI, France's big AI hope and latest unicorn, an open source developer of pay-as-you-go generative AI solutions (art generation, content creation, chatbots, virtual assistants, language translation, and customer service).

Why: To provide an open approach to generative AI and create a credible alternative to Large Language Model platforms such as Open AI or Google AI.

Funding: €385 million

Who: Co-founders Arthur Mensch, Guillaume Lample, & Timothee Lacroix

Investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Salesforce (US), BNP Paribas, CMA-CGM, General Catalyst, Elad Gil, Conviction, Redpoint, Index Ventures, Xavier Niel, JCDecaux Holding, Rodolphe Saadé, Motier Ventures, La Famiglia, Headline (Germany), Exor Ventures (Italy), Sofina (Belgium), First Minute Capital & LocalGlobe (UK). 

What's next: The new funding will help the startup achieve its ambitions of becoming a European champion in the AI sector.

What: Braincube, an AI SaaS platform for industrial IoT (IIOT).

Why: To transform data into insights, enabling companies to enhance the quality, productivity, and sustainability of their factories thus saving them money and reducing carbon emissions.

Funding: €80 million
Who: Co-founders Laurent Laporte, Sylvain Rubat du Mérac & Hélène Olphe-Galliard

Investors: Scottish Equity Partners, Bpifrance
What's Next: Braincube will use the new cash to consolidate its growth and reinforce its position as the international leader in industrial AI.

What: Néolithe, an industrial startup transforming non-recyclable waste.

Why: By transforming waste into mineral aggregates usable in the construction industry for concrete and roads, Néolithe is creating carbon sinks that help fight climate change.

Funding: €60 million

Who: Co-Founders Nicolas Cruaud (son), William Cruaud (father) & Clément Bénassy

Investors: Otium Capital, Crédit Mutuel Impact, Tivoli Capital & Rgreen Invest

What's next: Néolithe will use the new cash to speed up its growth and finance a new factory that should open next summer.

What: Eligo Bioscience, a biotech developing biotherapeutics for microbiome gene editing.

Why: To produce precision medicines to address unmet medical needs in immuno inflammation, oncology, and infectious diseases driven by the expression of deleterious bacterial genes.

Funding: €30 million

Who:  Luciano Marraffini, Timothy Lu, Dr. David Bikard & Xavier Duportet

Investors: Sanofi Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Bpifrance & Seventure Partners

What's next: The biotech will use the funding to speed up the development of its flagship program, EB005, which targets moderate to severe acne vulgaris, an inflammatory disease that affects about 3% of the global population. The investment will fuel pre-IND and IND activities to achieve early human data readouts in a Ph1b/2a clinical trial. Additionally, it will facilitate Eligo’s expansion into other chronic diseases, including oncology.

What: Colonies, a co-living accommodation platform.

Why: To simplify the lives of tenants through an online platform, allowing them to quickly visit a property, sign their lease, and take possession of the premises within a few days.

Funding: €30 million
Who: Co-Founders‌ Alexandre Martin, François Roth & Amaury Courbon

Investors: Crédit Mutuel Impact, Allianz, Eurazeo
What's Next: The startup plans to use the money to deploy 16,000 new accommodations and fuel its growth to become the leading housing brand in Europe.

What: Wakeo, an international freight transport monitoring SaaS platform.

Why: To provide real-time visibility of intercontinental multimodal freight transport flows.

Funding: €18 million
Who: Co-founders Julien Cote & Loïc Marzin

Investors: 360 Capital Partners, Techstars, Promus Ventures, 50 Partners, Statkraft Ventures
What's Next: The new funds will support Wakeo's international expansion, further executing its product roadmap and pursuing its commitment to sustainability —a core focus area considering 17 percent of global emissions stem from the transportation of goods. 

What: Aria, a B2B payments platform.

Why: To enable any freelancer or business selling goods and services to offer their clients a wide array of payment methods and terms, and get paid instantly — all in a single platform

Funding: €15 million

Who: Co-founders Clément Carrier & Vincent Folny

Investors: 13books Capital, Adevinta Ventures, Ankaa Ventures, Otium Capital, and angel investors including Laurent Ritter (Purple), Mark Ransford, and Guillaume Princen (ex Stripe).

What's Next: Aria will use the funding to build its successful freelancer invoice finance model while shifting towards an embedded digital B2B payment structure.

What: Actility, an IoT connectivity solution (LoRaWAN)

Why: To deploy, operate, and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks.

Funding: €16 million‌‌

Who: founder Olivier Hersent (co-inventor of the LoRaWAN technology)

Investors: Orange, Swisscomm, Bosch, Cisco, Eurazeo & Bpifrance

What's Next: Actility will use the new cash to digitize industries globally, fostering efficiency, safety, and sustainability.