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Google Voice founder joins venture capital firm

Wesley ChanWesley Chan
Wesley ChanCourtesy of Google Ventures

Wesley Chan has joined venture capital firm Felicis Ventures, which also increased the size of its latest fund from $96 million to $120 million.

The move teams Chan back up with Felicis founder Aydin Senkut, whom he first met while the two were young project managers in the early days of Google (GOOG). Chan, who previously spent time with both Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Microsoft (MSFT), would go on to help create both Google Analytics and Google Voice, eventually receiving a coveted Google Founders Award.

Chan would join Google Ventures as a partner in late 2009, before stepping back into an advisory role last February. At the time, Chan said he was planning to “start something new,” leading to all sorts of speculation that he would create something for Google, possibly in the digital television space. Instead, it seems Chan may have been coyly referring to the construction of a new family home, although he did make a dozen angel investments — including a couple alongside Felicis.

“Aydin and I have known each other for 13 years and both share a passion for building things,” Chan explains.

Senkut adds that when he has asked existing portfolio company founders about what his firm could do better, the response often has been to bring more operating experience in-house — something he feels Felicis has now done by adding Chan as its fourth managing director.

While with Google Ventures, Chan’s deals included Parse (acquired by Facebook), iPerian (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Optimizely. He says he already has two deals in the works for Felicis, but declined to identify them.

In other Google Ventures departures news today, Digg founder Kevin Rose said he no longer will make investments for Google Ventures, instead focusing his efforts on app development platform North Technologies.

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