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Leaps by Bayer Leads Funding for Pioneering Chickpea Protein Developer

Leaps by Bayer, the investment unit of Bayer AG, is the lead investor backing NuCicer, a California-based agri-food tech startup pioneering ultra-high protein chickpeas.

By harnessing the biodiversity of wild chickpea relatives, this startup has successfully developed chickpeas with 75 percent more protein than conventional varieties, unlocking the potential for the humble chickpea to become a scalable, affordable foundation for the future of plant-based foods.

NuCicer’s machine learning and genomic-guided breeding platform is rooted in decades of scientific research led by Professor Douglas Cook at UC Davis - the world’s top expert on chickpeas and the co-founder and chief scientific officer of the company. With 40 times more genetic diversity than commercial varieties, the company’s vast germplasm library integrates wild chickpea genetics with elite cultivars through cross breeding, to achieve the most desirable traits.


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