Virtual Data Rooms: Everything you need to know

Learn why virtual data rooms are the solutions of choice for business transactions.

The best virtual data service providers (Top 10)

Description:

iDeals is one of the best VDR service providers out there. The software comes with impeccable functionality and facilitates various industries such as technologies, biotech, and real estate. There are absolutely no plugins required and it is mobile compatible across different operating systems. Moreover, it is flexible, powerful, and secure, so you can really benefit by integrating this data room into your work processes without the fear of your confidential details being compromised.

iDeals

Pricing:

Quote-based pricing plan.

Free trial:

30-day free trial

Features:

24/7 online support Live demo option Webinar option Web-based, installed, and mobile deployment Desktop sync Access control Notification options Two-factor authentication Access control 256-Bit SSL encryption ISO 27001 certified

Description:

Intralinks Dealspace is another virtual data room focused on streamlining work processes, bringing efficiency to document sharing, and minimizing the learning curve for new users. It introduces protection for PDFs and Office documents and provides a seamless integration with Microsoft Office. The software is used when companies want to tackle more significant projects, hence its market is aimed towards bigger corporations. In short, it provides an intricate data solution that will aid you in solving the most complex and complicated challenges within your industry.

Intralinks Dealspace

Pricing:

Quote-based pricing plan.

Free trial:

Unknown.

Features:

256-Bit SSL encryption Data backup Document expiry Dynamic watermarks SSAE 16 certified Virus scanning Branded website Bulk uploads Drag and drop Full-text search In document linking Microsoft Office integration iPad application Mobile device interface Multi-language support

Description:

Donnelley is one of the most efficient electronic data room providers that ensures savvy regulatory reporting, AI contract analysis, and deal-making. It provides users with cloud-based solutions that streamline the entire work process and helps them with every stage of the investment cycle. With Donnelley, you can improve your traction workflow through intuitive and AI-advanced VDR software.

Donnelley Financial Solutions

Pricing:

Quote-based pricing plan.

Free trial:

Demo available.

Features:

Easy setup Security Reporting & analytics Workflow efficiency AI contract analytics

Description:

Clinked is a white-label client portal for business dealings. It claims to be secure, branded, and mobile. Through Clinked, you can take your communications with your clients to the next level since you can create a customized, mobile app for your business, allowing you to work smarter and improve the efficiency of your teams! This is the best option for those businesses that are focused on taking their client experience to the next level.

Clinked

Pricing:

Unknown.

Free trial:

10 days free trial.

Features:

Workspace File sharing Communication Collaboration Customization Data security

Description:

Citrix Sharefile is a cloud-based VDR solution that comes equipped with an operation security system, different levels of functionality, and reliable deal-making and data storage. It’s perfect for private equity firms, real estate companies, biotech companies, brokers, and financial advisors — basically all industries that value confidentiality but don’t want to compromise on work efficiency. To achieve the best possible results, Citrix ShareFile might require a few plugins.

Citrix Sharefile

Pricing:

Quote-based pricing plan.

Free trial:

Yes.

Features:

256-Bit SSL encryption Dynamic watermarks Document expiry Data backup Two-factor authentications Scroll-through viewer Drag and drop files Bulk uploads Multi-language support

Description:

DealRoom markets itself as an “M&A lifecycle management platform,” which means that it helps M&A teams streamline their transactions from every stage of the deal. Not only that, but it also helps corporate development, investment banking, private equity, and startup sectors. It prioritizes collaboration and sharing and makes it easier for teams to utilize the VDR platform to send feedback to and fro. In short, it is an adequate virtual deal room that can bring a lot of productivity to your management cycles.

DealRoom

Pricing:

Basic: $1,000 per month Professional: $2,000 per month Enterprise: Quote-based.

Free trial:

Unknown.

Features:

Centralized platform Advanced security Modern design Detail management Task prioritization Fund reporting

Description:

SecureDocs is a fast and reliable virtual data room that accelerates dealmaking, can be easily set up, and has the ability to deal with unlimited documents! It focuses on speed and delivering detailed insights so you can use the platform to create a comprehensive report of all your progress.

SecureDocs

Pricing:

3 Month Plan: $400; 12 Month Plan: $250 per month

Free trial:

14 Day free trial.

Features:

Transparent plans 10-minute implementation 24/7 service and support Industry-leading security Valuable insights Signing documents

Description:

Firmex is the go-to for a lot of companies when it comes to virtual data room software tasks. It claims to support more deals than any other VDR platform and is focused on making every transaction as seamless and simple as possible. It is also incredibly secure and offers safe sharing of sensitive documents. It is the best option for businesses that want convenience but don't want to compromise on efficiency either.

Firmex

Pricing:

Quote-based.

Features:

Easy setup Instant live support World-class security Versatility Security

Description:

DataSite is a dynamic VDR service provider that is optimum for exchanging confidential information during high-end financial transactions. It offers a functional blend of dedicated service specialists, watermarking, a user-friendly interface, and 24/7 support through live representatives. This VDR solution focuses on implementing security measures in your transactional processes and, hence, is the perfect option for professionals who prioritize safety. However, it comes with one big drawback: it cannot be accessed from mobile. If that’s an important aspect of your business, then DataSite is not the best option for you.

DataSite

Pricing:

Quote-based pricing plan.

Free trial:

Unknown

Features:

SSAE 16 certified Virus scanning Data backup Two-factor authentications User permissions Drag and drop files Scroll-through viewer Q&A section Audit logs

Description:

Aversure is a data room provider that is sophisticated yet very easy to use. It aims to simplify the transaction procedure by providing an intuitive virtual space. The biggest focus for Aversure is ease of use so if you’re looking for virtual data room solutions that are easy to use and don’t require extensive technological knowledge, Aversure is the solution for you.

Aversure Data Room

Pricing:

Quote-based pricing plan.

Free trial:

Unknown

Features:

Intuitive interface: no need to instruct users Developed with professionals in mind Easy to administer Strong focus on security Well-tested and proven system Automatic indexing Integrated Q&A

Data room service providers

You know which virtual data room solutions are worth your time and investment. However, if you really want to make an informed choice without wasting money, then you must know exactly what a virtual data room service is and why it is important for your business. 

A virtual data room is essentially an online repository that is aimed towards convenient document management. This includes sharing, distributing, and storing confidential data and sensitive documents. They serve to ensure that all your documents are secure and that multiple people can access them if need be.  

For industries that rely heavily on corporate transactions such as real estate, biotech, and finance — an effective electronic data room service provider can truly be a game-changer because it streamlines work processes and makes data management ten folds easier.

The most common uses of VDRs

The three most common uses of VDRs are as follows:

  1. Mergers and Acquisitions

M&A due diligence is perhaps the most common use for a virtual data room. Like earlier mentioned, a virtual data room due diligence really shines through when an intense transaction is involved. Merging with a business or acquiring one involves a lot of time, effort, research, and money. Effective handling of all these requires a multi-purpose VDR, where companies can navigate piles upon piles of data conveniently. Hence, M&A data room providers are extremely beneficial.

  1. Fundraising

Another crucial use for data room due diligence is fundraising. Fundraising is quite a difficult job — it requires a lot of data sharing and management. Both big and small enterprises struggle with executing the perfect fundraising rounds, thus it is important to integrate a VDR into your fundraising procedures. It can massively streamline the exchange of sensitive information and make it easier for companies to engage with each other to raise funds. 

  1. Audits

VDR is also essential when it comes to audits. Every time an external party needs to evaluate and review an organization’s data, it needs to access a VDR. For example, if legal counsel needs to access company data, it can easily do so via a VDR and focus on pertinent details. Since a VDR can facilitate literally every document the company has, it is easier to get an overview that meets your company’s requirement.

Data room providers usage

In case you’re still confused, let’s take a look at who uses virtual data rooms. Although all businesses can benefit from virtual data rooms, these particular sectors find it necessary to integrate an all-purpose VDR into their work processes:

Technology

For the following purposes:

  • Getting the right venture capital
  • M&A
  • Corporate document storage
  • Audits & compliance
  • IPO
  • HR file

Life sciences

For the following purposes:

  • Fundraising
  • Clinical trials
  • Licensing IP
  • HIPAA regulations compliance
  • Strategic partnerships
  • M&A

Legal firms

For the following purposes:

  • M&A
  • Fundraising
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Litigation
  • Bankruptcy

Investment banking

For the following purposes:

  • Buy-side M&A
  • Sell-side M&A
  • Capital Raising
  • Rights issues
  • Strategic partnerships
  • IPO

Private Equity & Venture Capital

For the following purposes:

  • Equity investments
  • Buyouts
  • Exits
  • Raising a fund
  • Partner communication
  • Investor communication

How to choose the right virtual data rooms?

Here’s a mini-guide for picking your virtual data room vendors:

  • First, you need to check whether it aligns with your needs and abilities or not. This will involve getting to know the platform inside out and ensuring that it has the right features.
  • Then, craft a proper budget and figure out how much your company is willing to spend on a data management solution. 
  • Then, concur your budget with the cost of the virtual data room that meets your company’s needs. Make sure to draw comparisons and be sure that it is the best option available out there! This will involve a thorough understanding of whether or not you can reach out to the providers, so request a demo/free trial.

The overview of VDR providers and data room companies should be sufficient to help you check off most of the items on this list — so you have no excuse to make an uninformed choice.

Additionally, we recommend the following:

  • Consider which data rooms best align with your business requirements, and then choose accordingly. We have already discussed which providers are better for which kind of businesses, so the virtual data room comparison should be quite straightforward to make! 
  • Check which virtual data room pricing plan seems to be the best for your budget, and take that into consideration while making your choice.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick one of the best VDR providers and take your transactions to a whole new level.

FAQ

What is a virtual data room?

Virtual data rooms are a secure workspace for storing and sharing data, collaborating, and making deals. The uniqueness of a VDR lies in ensuring data security by using  document-protection features and being compliant with international security standards, such as:

ISO / IEC 27001: 2013, GDPR, SOC 1 or 2, HIPAA compliance
watermarks
real-time backup
granular permission
data encryption
remote data management
multi-level document rights

This way, VDRs eliminate one of the most common business problems—data loss.

What are virtual data room uses?

Small, medium, and large businesses use data rooms for a variety of purposes. The most common include due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs (initial public offerings). However, VDRs also help facilitate business transactions in real estate, patenting, fundraising, licensing, joint cooperative ventures, or any other activity that requires secure data storage. Simply put, a data room is a solution for anyone who needs bank-grade data protection and a unified collaboration space.

How does a virtual data room work?

A virtual data room works similarly to a cloud repository, with additional features that ensure safe data storing and sharing. For instance, with a secure login, each user goes through a multi-step authentication process. With a data room index, all data is stored in a convenient folder structure. And thanks to flexible user permissions, data room admins safely control what data can be accessed, printed, or shared—and by whom.

What should you expect from a virtual data room?

An optimal data room should have features that ensure data protection, document control, ease of use, and activity tracking:

Data protection: watermarks, encryption, data backup, international security standards compliance
Document control: multi-level user permissions, document version control, document access restrictions
Ease of use: bulk uploads, Q&A module, drag and drop tool, advanced search
Activity tracking: detailed reports, audit logs, etc.

These features significantly help to boost workflow efficiency.

Is Dropbox a virtual data room?

Just like a virtual data room, Dropbox is a cloud storage solution. However, it offers many fewer features and less protection than data rooms. For example,with Dropbox, users lose control of the document as soon as they share it. That is because Dropbox does not have a remote data management option. In turn, virtual data rooms allow constant control over data — wherever the file is.

How does a VDR provide data protection?

If a virtual data room offers high-quality data protection, then users get strong data encryption, advanced user permissions, and compliance with international security standards. These critical features ensure all content is reliably encrypted, accessed only by authorized users with proper permission levels, and secured according to strict international standards.

How to find the best VDR for your business?

First and foremost, you should assess your company’s needs. Your goal is to determine which data room would best satisfy your requirements. To help narrow down your choices, ask specific questions regarding features, price, and storage or users limitations, for example. And finally, browse user reviews for unbiased user experiences.

How much does it cost to set up a data room?

If the question is about installing virtual data rooms, then it is primarily free. As for the cost of the software subscription, it varies depending on the pricing structure, which may depend on the factors such as:

the number of users 
the amount of storage required
the number of projects
duration of virtual data room use