Spokane Journal of Business

Coeur d'Alene-based stock brokerage Pennaluna launches new investing site

Cd'A company's online tool intended to connect funders, companies seeking capital

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Pennaluna & Co., a Coeur d'Alene-based stock brokerage, has opened a division named PennStarter, which launched a website last month as an online equity funding portal enabling people to invest mainly in startup companies.

    Pennaluna, which is located at 421 Sherman in downtown Coeur d'Alene, has focused mostly on the mining, metals, and Canadian markets since 1926. The brokerage often helps businesses get listed as publicly traded companies on over-the-counter markets.

    Potential investors can use PennStarter to provide funding to companies typically through private placement investments, says Shawny Le, project coordinator for PennStarter. The companies seeking investments range from concerns that need seed capital while in the earliest stages to companies that are established with some product or revenue but are seeking to expand, she says.

    "Some of the companies are already publicly traded, and others may never want to be publicly traded, or are working to become publicly traded," Le says.

    PennStarter investors must sign up for the website and fill out a questionnaire. Pennaluna, as the broker-dealer, reviews applicants to determine if they are qualified investors, which typically is based on annual income level or net worth, Le says.

    "We review the questionnaires with our team before we allow them access to the site," she says.   

    Le says PennStarter recently raised a little more than $1 million in funding for Coeur d'Alene-based New Jersey Mining Co., which was one of three companies that the division initially included on the PennStarter website for potential investments.

    "We're still specializing in the mining and natural resources industry," she says. "We have a couple of live deals right now, and we've completed funding on the first deal."

     It soon will list other investment options, and PennStarter plans to offer investor funding arrangements for concerns outside of the mining and natural resources industry, such as ones involved in technology, Le adds.   

    Many smaller mining concerns are publicly traded, but their shares usually aren't listed on major stock exchanges. Rather, they're traded in the over-the-counter markets. Analysts consider such stocks to be speculative and sometimes volatile, so generally only experienced investors trade in them.

    Pennaluna has 16 employees, including 14 workers based at the Coeur d'Alene office; one in Wallace, Idaho; and one in New York.

Treva Lind
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Reporter Treva Lind covers natural resources and technology at the Journal of Business. A Nevada transplant and recovering swim mom, Treva has worked for the Journal since 2011.

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