Google Venture Fund Run by Old Pal of Cofounder's Wife

Silicon Valley is a meritocracy. Yeah, right! Take a look at who's behind Google's new $100 million venture-capital fund, and you'll see how things really work in the cradle of technology.

There are any number of experienced investors Google might have recruited for its fund. While small in size, Google has a formidable brand and the promise of an easy path to a sale for any company it invests in. Which makes Google's money-manager picks notable.

One partner in the new fund, Rich Miner, was previously an entrepreneur who cofounded Android, a mobile-phone software startup bought by Google in 2005. No surprise there, since former entrepreneurs often become venture capitalists. But they're usually paired with seasoned financial types.

That doesn't exactly describe the other partner, Bill Maris, who has a curiously thin resume. His most notable job before Google? A small San Francisco venture-capital firm named Catalytic Health which hoped to raise the unambitious sum of $10 million. It's not clear if Catalytic Health ever raised money, or made any investments. But no matter. Maris's partner in the firm was Anne Wojcicki, a healthcare investor who went on to consummate a successful merger: She married Google cofounder Sergey Brin in 2007.