The Top 10: #3 Anna Haghgooie, managing director, and Binoy Bhansali, vice-president, Blue Venture Fund

Anna Haghgooie is a managing director and Binoy Bhansali is a vice-president (VP) at Blue Venture Fund, which is a corporate venture capital (CVC) fund sponsored by the BlueCross BlueShield Association (Blues), a federation of 36 US-based health insurance organisations.

Haghgooie and Bhansali are involved in Blue Venture Fund through Sandbox Industries, a venture capital firm that helps manage CVC units for corporations.

Haghgooie has been with Blue Venture Fund and Sandbox Industries for 12 years, where she focuses on healthcare innovation and transformation. She serves on the board of directors of kidney care provider Somatus, healthcare software provider ZeOmega, home care management software provider Contessa, medication and pain care management technology provider Axial Healthcare, pregnancy and postpartum care provider Quilted Health and SonarMD, a developer of technology that helps care providers manage patients with chronic health conditions.

Haghgooie is a board observer for disease prevention platform developer Solera Health, personalised health counselling and treatment provider Ideal Option and digital health management software developer Wellframe. She also oversaw the fund’s investment in complex medication therapy provider CarePathRx.

Previously, she served on the board of directors of post-acute care benefits manager NaviHealth, employee benefits, insurance and management platform Allay, home-delivery pharmacy ExactCare and medical consumer engagement service Change Healthcare.

Before Sandbox Industries, she concentrated on healthcare as an associate director of corporate finance at Fitch and started her career as a member of the financial management programme at General Electric.

Concerning his remit, Bhansali explained: “We invest in healthcare IT and services companies that are relevant to the Blues. I have been at Sandbox since summer 2015 and am a VP on the team.

“CVC allows one to empathise with both sides of the aisle – the entrepreneur and the corporate the entrepreneur is hoping to engage. I think having patience and empathy for both sides is necessary, especially in regulated and complicated industries like healthcare where distribution is everything.

“I have enjoyed doing work in the social determinants of health space. Scientific literature uniformly suggests that SDOH (social determinants of health) issues play a larger role in determining health outcomes than do medical factors. Specifically, lack of housing, social integration and transportation have all been implicated as significant indicators of health.

“While the US has the highest medical expenditures in the world, we spend significantly less on social services than our peers. This data suggests that addressing the SDOH may help us address our issues around high costs and poor outcomes. The lack of organisation and engagement with organisations addressing the SDOH is a problem that must be addressed.

“However, aside from community non-profits, few organisations have established credibility in addressing the SDOH. From an investment perspective, this represents a white space opportunity in an underpenetrated market. As a team, we have spent time with many of the companies in this space – after multiple diligence processes, we found that Healthify had established itself as a leader. In May 2017, I led a Series A investment into the company. Healthify has built technology products to help healthcare organisations screen individuals’ SDOH needs, discern the non-medical services they require and refer those individuals to organisations to address those needs. I think that this work is important, and I am excited to help the company grow as a board member.”