Secure had a secret. And a “secret weapon.”
The Seattle-area fintech startup announced recently that TV personality and best-selling author Suze Orman is one of the co-founders of the company. A spin out of Pioneer Square Labs, Secure helps employers offer a financial wellness benefit to workers beyond their paycheck in the form of an emergency savings account (ESA).
Co-founder and CEO Devin Miller wrote in a blog post about how they were holding back on Orman’s involvement as one key piece of the startup’s founding story. He told the Puget Sound Business Journal that the company wanted to wait until it was live with customers before drawing attention through Orman’s outsized ability to gain exposure.
Miller said he and co-founder Bassam Saliba met with Orman and her longtime business partner and wife, KT, late last summer before they had even formed the company.
“We spent over an hour talking about our vision for the company, her work in the space, even the name Secure, sharing thoughts on the product and visions for the business’s future. We immediately clicked,” Miller wrote. “She told us that greatest financial lesson people have learned from the pandemic was an emergency fund is the key to financial survival.”
Miller said Orman has never been part of a VC-backed startup’s founding team and has never worked on a technology company this early.
“With us, she has been part of the team, grinding it out behind the scenes, savoring the highs and trudging through the lows,” he said, adding that Orman will become a more vocal member of the team in the weeks and months ahead.
Secure announced $3.5 million in funding in January.