Silicon Valley's secret matchmakerS

These days, a startup raising $1.5 million hardly seems noteworthy, so I was inclined to dismiss the news that Curbed Network, a New York-based blog franchise, had brought in that modest amount. This despite the fact that Lockhart Steele, Curbed's cofounder, is a friend and helped recruit me to Valleywag when he worked at Gawker Media, and Nick Denton, Valleywag's owner, is one of the investors in this round. No, I was more intrigued by the name of another investor: Zach Nelson, the Larry Ellison protégé who's CEO of NetSuite, the Web-based software company which has filed to go public. How could these two have possibly connected? A quick reading of the social graph revealed only one candidate: Brooke Hammerling, the hyperconnected founder of Brew PR and Valleywag's original Snacky Flack. The coast-swapping Hammerling says her career as a yentapreneur began when she invited Steele, a baseball fan, to an Oakland A's event hosted by Nelson. Hope you got a cut, Brooke.