Lightspeed Venture Partners February Newsletter

Innovation is Global

Welcome to the February 2024 edition of the Lightspeed newsletter where we cover everything from the current state of the global startup ecosystem, to big news from the portfolio, to our latest AI investments, and more. We’re also honored to introduce the Lightspeed Advisory Council, a group of luminaries with the brightest minds in technology and business.

Arthur Mensch (Mistral Co-Founder & CEO) and Paul Murphy (Lightspeed Europe Partner) on stage at Slush last year.

Every ambitious founder with a provocative idea needs someone to believe in them first. Lightspeed is proud to have been that believer for Mistral.

Earlier this week, Mistral announced its latest and most powerful large language model, Mistral Large. It also put out a smaller model, Mistral Small, which is optimized to be faster and more compact. In addition, Mistral released a new conversational assistant, le Chat, a first demonstration of what you can build with Mistral models and what you can deploy in your business environment.

Learn more about our early belief in Mistral and why we led their seed round last summer, and then less than six months later doubled down and participated in their Series A round.

Our journey over the past twenty-plus years has been marked by profound partnerships with some of the world’s most visionary founders, CEOs, and operators. As we continue to evolve and expand, the Lightspeed Advisory Council embodies our dedication to fostering collaboration, shared learning, innovation, and building a vibrant community. This collective includes current and former CEOs, Board Chairs, and C-level executives from trailblazing companies such as Adobe, Airbnb, Calm, Etsy, Faire, HubSpot, Microsoft, Navan, Niantic, Roblox, Salesforce, Spotify, TikTok, Uber, and Zillow, among others.

Lightspeed Global Partner Bejul Somaia recently discussed why India should not be underestimated, the current state of the global startup ecosystem, and the lessons we’ve learned with CNBC.

We sat down with some of our Founders to hear about their challenges, successes, why they started their businesses, and why they chose to partner with Lightspeed. Here’s a glimpse into the latest conversation between Lightspeed Growth Partner Sebastian Duesterhoeft and Dr. Shiv Rao, MD, Co-Founder and CEO of Abridge. We share a deep conviction that Abridge’s multi-disciplinary team, expansive vision, and collaborative execution will help steward healthcare into the AI-empowered future, and we’re so proud to lead the company’s recently announced $150M Series C round.

Arvind Jain (Co-Founder & CEO of Glean) and Lisa Han (Lightspeed Enterprise Partner) at #GenSF earlier this month.

Lightspeed continues to gather together AI operators and visionaries for our in-person meetup series around the world. Check out the recaps of recent events featuring leaders and builders at Glean, Faire, Instacart, and Yelp:

When Lightspeed launched a Generative AI event series last year, we did so with a mission to serve the community of AI product builders, and provide a forum for exchanging ideas, sharing insights, and building connections. The appetite for these conversations is only growing as the generative AI space continues to explode. That’s why we launched Generative Now, a podcast about this moment in AI, featuring conversations between Lightspeed partner Michael Mignano and more of the same high caliber guests from our events that are shaping the future of AI.

In a recent episode, Michael and Gustav Söderström, Co-President, CPO & CTO of Spotify, discuss how AI for music is opening up a plethora of opportunities for musicians, podcasters, and authors.

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We are grateful for your partnership and support, and welcome any feedback you have. We’ll see you next month with more news, insights, and updates.

And if you happen to be in Los Angeles tonight (Thursday, 2/29), we’d love to see you at Strictly VC’s event sponsored by Lightspeed. Register here.

–Team Lightspeed

“Innovation is global, entrepreneurship is global and we want to have access to the best companies and the best founders wherever they are.”

Bejul Somaia, Lightspeed Global Partner