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French AI Startup H Raises Record $220M Seed Round

H, formerly known as Holistic AI and based in Paris, is rewriting the playbook with a groundbreaking $220 million
May 22, 2024

In the world of startups, landing a seed round above $10 million is a rarity. Yet, defying expectations, Paris-based H, formerly known as Holistic AI, has shattered records with a staggering $220 million seed round mere months after its inception.

What sets H apart is not just the eye-popping figure but its ambitious mission fueled by an extraordinary founding team. Led by Charles Kantor, a former Stanford researcher, the startup boasts a lineup of talent with deep roots in DeepMind, Google's AI powerhouse.

Karl Tuyls, a former research director at DeepMind, brings expertise in game theory and multi-agent research, while Laurent Sifre, renowned for his contributions to flagship projects like AlphaGo and AlphaFold, joins as Principal Scientist. Daan Wierstra, a founding member of DeepMind, assumes the role of Chief Scientist Officer, alongside Julien Perolat, who shares a rich background in game theory and multi-agent research.

At the heart of H's mission lies the development of AI agents, automated systems poised to revolutionize traditional human tasks. The company's vision, as outlined on its minimalist website, centers on crafting "frontier action models" aimed at enhancing workforce productivity.

Fueling H's journey are a diverse array of investors, ranging from billionaire backers like Eric Schmidt and Xavier Niel to prominent VC funds including Accel and Bpifrance's Large Venture fund. Strategic partnerships with industrial giants like Amazon and Samsung, as well as collaboration with established unicorns like UiPath, further bolster H's position in the AI landscape.

Interestingly, H's funding structure reflects investor confidence, with commitments split between equity and convertible debt. This infusion of capital not only propels H's rapid expansion, evidenced by its 25-strong team of engineers and scientists, but also underscores its commitment to advancing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) — a lofty goal that remains the cornerstone of its aspirations.

As the tech hub of Paris continues to burgeon with AI startups and talent, H emerges as a formidable contender, poised to leave an indelible mark on the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence. With access to capital, coupled with a wealth of expertise and strategic partnerships, H charts a promising trajectory in the global AI arena, adding yet another chapter to Paris's burgeoning tech narrative.

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