The top 50: John Banta, president and managing director, Blue Venture Funds

John Banta serves as president and managing director of the Blue Venture Funds, a corporate venture capital (CVC) unit with $950m under management across four funds operating on behalf of the 35 BlueCross and Blue Shield US health insurance organisations and their affiliates.

Banta has been with the unit since 2014 and is responsible for maintaining relationships with all stakeholders to ensure the operational success of the fund, and for the generation of an appropriate rate of strategic and financial return.

Over the past 12 months, the Blue Venture Fund made nine new investments, including medicaid maternity care provider Origin, asynchronous text-based triage system developer CirrusMD, dynamic drug pricing platform Sempre Health, AI-based messaging platform Drips and PicassoMD, a provider to specialist workflow integration platform, among numerous others.

The funds also experienced seven exits, including Patientco (Waystar), Contessa Health (Amedisys), Healthify (Wellsky), Thrive BioScience (Exact Sciences), Wellframe (Healthedge), CareCentrix (Walgreens Boots Alliance) and IDExperts (ZeroFox), driving strong returns for the programme.

Banta said: “As we look beyond the impact of the pandemic and think about what a productive, affordable, and equitable healthcare system will require in the future, the only certainty is unprecedented change. We remain committed to playing a market-leading role in supporting top entrepreneurs driving innovation within that dynamic marketplace.”

Banta was formerly CEO and managing director of IllinoisVentures, an early-stage technology investment firm focused on companies deriving from US Midwest universities and labs. Prior to that, he was the president and chief operating officer of DigitalWork, a Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Dell Ventures portfolio company, and before that a managing director at the investment banks of Kidder Peabody and UBS.

Banta has an MBA in finance and statistics from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois.