DeepMind Scientists Ponder Formation of €200 Million AI Startup in Paris


  • Google DeepMind scientists exploring the creation of an AI startup in Paris, potentially securing over €200 million in funding.
  • Laurent Sifre and Karl Tuyls, renowned researchers, may establish the venture focusing on a new AI model.
  • Both scientists have signaled their intent to leave DeepMind.
  • Strong investor interest in AI technology is evident, especially in France.
  • Recent successes in AI startups, like Mistral AI and Kyutai, highlight the thriving AI market.
  • This French startup is distinct from the London-based Holistic AI enterprise software company.

Main AI News:

Two scientists at Google DeepMind, the AI division of Alphabet Inc., are contemplating the creation of an AI startup in Paris. According to sources familiar with the matter, they have engaged in discussions with potential investors regarding a substantial financing round, possibly exceeding €200 million ($220 million). Laurent Sifre, a DeepMind scientist, is in negotiations to establish the venture, currently known as Holistic, alongside fellow DeepMind researcher Karl Tuyls. Their envisioned focus for this endeavor is the development of a novel AI model.

Sifre and Tuyls have refrained from providing comments on this matter. Meanwhile, a representative from DeepMind has chosen not to comment on the startup plans. Sources report that both scientists have formally expressed their intention to depart from their current positions within the company.

Laurent Sifre notably co-authored the influential 2016 DeepMind research on Go, a groundbreaking achievement that marked the first instance of a computer system outperforming human masters in the ancient game. This accomplishment triggered a worldwide fascination with AI. Karl Tuyls, on the other hand, has been involved in research related to game theory and multi-agent reinforcement learning, a facet of AI that investigates interactions among autonomous entities, frequently through the medium of video games.

The exceptional size of the proposed financing round underscores the keen interest investors have in this technology. This interest is particularly pronounced in France, where venture capitalists and business leaders have been pouring substantial investments into startups emanating from Parisian academic institutions and Silicon Valley firms’ AI hubs.

Notably, Mistral AI, a competitor of OpenAI, with its CEO hailing from DeepMind, was established early in 2023 and managed to secure substantial funding, culminating in a valuation of approximately $2 billion by year-end. Additionally, Kyutai, a nonprofit AI research laboratory, was founded in November with an initial funding pool of €300 million.

It is important to clarify that the potential French startup, currently referred to as Holistic, is distinct from Holistic AI, an enterprise software company headquartered in London.


The initiative by DeepMind scientists to launch a €200 million AI startup underscores the robust investor appetite for AI technology. The emergence of successful AI startups in France, coupled with the global fascination with AI advancements, indicates a dynamic and competitive market landscape that is likely to witness continued growth and innovation.