The top 50: Bill Taranto, president and general partner, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund

Bill Taranto, president and general partner at pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co’s corporate venturing vehicle, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (GHI), has more than three decades of experience in the healthcare industry, including 20 years of healthcare investment experience.

He co-founded Merck’s GHI Fund in 2010 with the aim of providing more choice for the company in merger and acquisition opportunities. The $500m investment vehicle is also supported by $700m of private equity funding to assist with larger-stage deals and roll-ups.

Among the GHI Fund’s recent investments are a lead role in the $14m series B round for Cancer IQ, a software platform used to prevent disease, as well as participation in healthcare analytics firm Koneksa Health’s $45m series C raise and involvement in the $10m series A round for TagNTrac, a developer of internet-of-things (IoT)-based tracking technology.

To date, the unit has made more than 60 investments globally in the digital health sphere. Its current key areas of focus are in therapy planning, care management, health analytics, clinical trials and enabling technologies.

In 2021, Merck launched a $50m investment vehicle called Next Horizon, which invests in digital health companies developing ideas that that are at least five to seven years to maturation.

Prior to joining Merck, Taranto worked at pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson, where he spent 18 years in a number of venture capital, marketing, business development and sales roles. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from St Bonaventure University in New York State.