What are the best Virtual Data Room providers of 2019?
Virtual data room services play an important role in the business performance of contemporary corporations and small enterprises as they allow secure storage and exchange of confidential and sensitive data.
TOP-3 Virtual Data Room Provider
Top Virtual Data Room Provider for 2019
iDeals operates in the virtual data room market since 2008 and its data room has already gained the reputation of convenient and secure cloud-based platform. iDeals VDR is successfully utilized by the representatives of diverse industries such as life science, biotech licensing, investment banking, real estate, fundraising, etc. The room is especially convenient when it comes to cumbersome and time-consuming projects such as M&A deals. In a course of due diligence data room offered by the vendor plays the role of a virtual venue where all the relevant documents are being stored, examined, and discussed. The main task of the virtual data room is to guarantee secure document sharing and iDeals accomplishes this duty successfully. The room is protected on multiple levels: data encryption, watermarks, firewalls, and other features ensure that documents uploaded to the iDeals virtual data room would not be compromised.
Along with secure document sharing customers get the highly functional operation environment efficient for execution of the variety of actions. The room proves to be great for file storage as every piece is systematized and the advanced search tools simplify navigation within the system. iDeals is also famous for the decency of Q&A section it provides: the section makes it possible for a project’s participants to stay in touch with each other, to discuss documents and to get a comprehensive understanding of the tiniest nuances of any file. Hence, iDeals proves to be trustworthy and decent data room provider.
Intralinks belongs to the oldest players in the VDR market. Being established in 1996 it has over 20 years of experience. The company works mainly with large enterprises and focuses on big-scale deals. On the one hand, it allows the vendor to gain an extensive experience in solving the most complicated riddles and in assisting throughout the most cumbersome deals. On the other hand, the prices for services are higher than average. In general, there are three product editions that differ in terms of functions available and that suit certain types of deals. In a case, the basic model is not enough for successful deal execution it can be extended with the help of extra modules which focus on specific processes. Hence, Intralinks makes sure that any client would get exactly what his project requires.
Merrill prefers to collaborate with large enterprises and financial institutions. The company claims to be the “global leader” and assists lots of customers worldwide: their VDRs are mainly utilized for the execution of complex and cumbersome deals. Therefore, there is no wonder that prices for services are pretty high. The VDR complements the other services of Merrill that provides consulting, content management, and financial services. Considering the variety of options offered Merrill may successfully take a burden of information management of any enterprise. Anyway, the VDR offered by Merrill abides by all the industry standards and provides customers with all the required options – secure file sharing, convenient storage, integration with software, intuitive navigation, multiple communication tools, etc.
Donnelley Financial Solutions
Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN) was established in 1983 and is a leader in risk and compliance solutions. Although DFIN is known for their print services, they have been transforming themselves into a Fintech company providing solutions for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as well as other regulatory SEC compliance software such as 10-K and iXBRL.
One of DFIN’s platforms is their Virtual Data Room (VDR) known as Venuesm. Venue is known for it’s global scalability and can include add-on features such as artificial intelligence (AI) through their eBrevia engine to help automate contract reviews.
ShareFile Citrix Systems
ShareFile was created in 2005. From the beginning, it performed a role of a venue for safe files exchange. In 2011, ShareFile became a part of Citrix and started a new page in its development. Previously Citrix worked on diverse services embodied in such programs as XenApp, NetScaler, and CloudBridge. And ShareFile became the one that was supposed to work as a virtual data room. The evident advantage of ShareFile is its integration with diverse software, especially with the programs available for free. It is extremely convenient from the perspective of the customers that prefer to utilize free service. It performs its role of a VDR successfully but it would not be suitable for complex deals and for storage of confidential and sensitive data: ShareFile is recommended for small-scale projects and clients that need a cross-storage platform.
While other players in the VDR market are trying to satisfy as many customers as possible, Ansarada focuses on one particular kind of clients, namely – on those involved in the execution of M&A transactions. Indeed, Ansarada states it was created exclusively for facilitation of deals between buyers and sellers. From the perspective of its functionality, this VDR is characterized by several pluses and minuses. Apparently, when it comes to merger and acquisition projects Ansarada simplifies the life of the both sides, of their advisors and analysts significantly as all the functions offer and the interface are designed in the way that speeds up and facilitates the entire process. However, the room seems to be not the best choice for other types of deals: Ansarada cannot be treated as a good platform for long-term data storage and exchange.
Brainloop Secure Dataroom
Brainloop is the vendor with its headquarters in Germany. Its main focus is assistance throughout deal-making collaborations. It means that Brainloop provides diverse software that simplifies and facilitates communication between the project participants and guarantee safe information exchange. While Ansarada and RR Donnelley make emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and design their VDRs in compliance with the latest requirements buyers and sellers, Brainloop has released the platform that has no particular specialization: Secure Dataroom would be convenient and helpful for all deal-makers who seek for the safe environment for information exchange. However, the complex functionality of the platform might cause delays in the execution of transactions: a certain time might be required to introduce inexperienced clients into the way Secure Dataroom functions.
Firmex combines traits of the huge VDR vendors and brave small-scale startups. On the one hand, you enjoy the functionality inherent to experienced providers. At the same time, you observe constant innovations and moderate prices that characterize fearless newbies who fight for the own niche. On the list of their users, the one may notice such well-known names as Deloitte, PWC, E&Y, Deutsche Bank, and many representatives of investment banks, legal firms, energy, mining, pharmaceutical sectors, etc. The VDR proves to be the most convenient for merger and acquisition transactions as it is equipped with multiple instruments that facilitate communication, speed up due diligence, and simplify every aspect of collaboration. In general, the room offers the usual set of options required for successful deal-making. For instance, it can boast of an excellent customer service.
Box Virtual Dataroom
Even though VDR services do not constitute the primary focus of Box the key reason why it should be included on this list is Business on Box platform developed within the company. When users start dealing with this product, they notice immediately the resemblance inherent to Box and diverse file sharing services available free of charge (e.g., DropBox). While exploiting the similar user-friendly interface inherent to freemium services Box proves to be more advanced in terms of information protection. Moreover, the platform offers the wider range of instruments and provides clients with multiple features that make internal communication and collaboration with external partners more smooth and convenient. The set of options immanent to Box is rather standard: experienced users would not detect anything innovative or surprising among the functions.
Virtual Data Room Review Editors Pick
The VDR market keeps on growing and new virtual data room providers emerge regularly. However, there are vendors that have managed to gain the reputation of decent and trustworthy players. iDeals data room belongs to the most protected and convenient platforms recently available in the market. This platform combines the complex security system, intuitive and simple interface, diverse communication and analysis instruments, qualified support team, and adequate prices. Being a relatively new player among vendors, iDeals has managed to gain the extensive experience: its virtual data rooms have been utilized in complex and time-consuming deals and projects executed within the variety of industries. Although the data room is already treated as a high-quality assistant iDeals continues working on the improvement of the room: innovations and unique features are among the key priorities of the company. Hence, iDeals successfully accomplishes its role, helps deal-makers execute their projects smoothly and securely, and competes with the largest and the oldest vendors.
Who uses virtual data rooms?
Virtual data rooms may come in handy for everyone who wants to keep the data in a highly protected environment for any deal. However, there are certain industries and spheres which are more interested in secure document sharing than others. In the exampl: investment banks, law firms, startups, etc. need to guarantee the safety of the information, eliminate risks of leakage and misuse.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Virtual Data Rooms seem to be the most helpful in a course of M&A transactions. A decent virtual data room simplifies the entire process of interaction between a buyer and a seller and allows both sides to feel safe. Virtual Data Rooms prove to be especially useful when it comes to due diligence process. When all the necessary data is uploaded to a virtual data room the potential buyers get an access to it and may take their time examining documents. Moreover, in a contrast to any land-based deal room, a virtual data room allows multiple visitors to work with the files simultaneously. Hence, with the help of Virtual Data Rooms, a seller has a chance to maintain a productive and smooth dialogue with several bidders concurrently and to remain sure that no files would leak, that the process would not be interrupted, and that the deal would bring maximum profit.
Corporate Document Sharing
The larger a company is – the more complex internal communication flow becomes. Virtual data rooms seem to become a solution that may simplify collaboration of employees and that may ensure data security. When the demand for the exchange of certain files arises several options might be applied. However, traditional emails proved to be too vulnerable and too easy to be attacked. In a contrast to a virtual data room, such free services as DropBox and Google Drive cannot guarantee the required level of documents protection. In addition, these vendors have no chance to offer enough customization options to ensure convenience for all the participants of the communication and data exchange process. A virtual data room may play the role of a highly protected venue where all the corporate files can be store and the exploitation of a virtual data room for document sharing guarantees information security. Hence, VDRs become a choice of numerous global corporations and small private enterprises
Law firms face similar problems as other industries do: data security and uninterrupted flow of communication are among their primary concerns. However, they deal with one more dimension of problems as the storage and exchange of information have to meet all the legal standards in order not to compromise the clients. Obviously, it is possible to build an extranet but the opening of a virtual data room seems to be cheaper and more efficient. The key advantage of any virtual data room is secure access to data and an agile customization: the room can be adjusted to the needs of a certain client or case. Moreover, virtual data rooms allow law firms to impose different levels of data disclosure and to maintain contacts with multiple parties within one room. With the help of a VDR, it is easy to keep all the files connected to particular cases well-organized and accessible in a short time.
The Due Diligent Types:
- Legal due diligence focuses on the legal basis of an M&A transaction. It is one of the safety measures that prevent lawsuits after completing the M&A deal.
- Financial due diligence (FDD) focuses on ensuring that the target business will stay on the same level or will perform better than before the deal.
- Commercial due diligence focuses on the market and helps to plan the business integration following after the acquisition.
The advantages of using the VDR on each of 3 steps of the M&A Deal:
- Pre-Marketing Step.
Before the M&A deal, the seller can upload all pre-marketing documentation and make it available for potential investors.
- Due Diligence Step.
During this process, buyers may ask questions about available documents or request additional ones.
- Integration Step.
The VDR helps merged companies integrate all their departments. Then it serves as a corporate data repository and helps in executive communications.
Other common uses
The spheres mentioned above give a brief insight into the list of industries interested in the exploitation of virtual data rooms. And this list seems to be non-exhaustive as almost any deal-maker may find something helpful and beneficial in the use of virtual data rooms. Hence, representatives of fundraising, IPOs, real estate, biotechnological licensing, litigation, clinical studies, investment banking and many other spheres tend to pay attention to VDRs.
How to Find the Best Virtual Data Room Provider
Today, virtual data rooms do not belong to the luxurious services rarely used by deal-makers. Initially, VDRs were utilized by a limited group of business but, during the last decades, the situation has changed. The importance of data protection becomes more and more evident as new threats for information security emerge. However, the exploitation of virtual data rooms is aimed not exclusively at secure data storage: these services provide users with diverse instruments that simplify the information exchange, internal and external communication.
The evident advantages immanent to virtual data rooms make big companies and businessmen explore the VDR industry and search for the appealing vendors. As plenty of data storing software providers offer their services, such a task proves to be rather challenging. Anyway, our comprehensible algorithm should simplify the selection of a virtual data room provider.
Check out what the market can offer you
Make a market research and look through the existing virtual data rooms. First of all, you should evaluate the reputation of the vendors. Expert reviews and feedback could help you understand if certain room meets your demands and expectations. It is always advisable to cooperate with those providers who have an excellent reputation. For sure, it does not give you 100% guarantee that your data would not be compromised somehow but the chances to experience leakage or breach are miserable.
Look through the safety guarantees and tools offered
The functionality is a dimension defining the reliability of virtual data rooms. Certain industry standards exist and a set of selected functions is expected to be present in the VDR you use. Document security options are among the trait to be evaluated first. You should make sure the protection of files is guaranteed on numerous levels owing to diverse instruments such as encryption, virus scanning, two-step user verification, watermarks, etc. If you suspect the protection system to be of not the highest quality then you should better reconsider your choice and look for a different room.
Also, pay attention to other functions offered by a vendor. For instance, you might need flexible access settings and an efficient Q&A section for communication with your employees, partners, and customers. Or you might plan to exploit the room for multiple projects: permission groups option would come in handy. Regular activity tracking would help you monitor what the users do inside the room. Advanced search tools and multiple filters would simplify the work process and let you deal with files quicker. A convenient design and the ability to customize it should be provided. Hence, you should look through the features inherent to certain VDRs, evaluate your own needs, and choose the room that satisfies your requirements.
Before purchasing a subscription you should better test the service on your own. Usually, trial versions of VDRs are available for free. It means you’ve got a chance to check out the functionality and convenience of the VDR. You are not supposed to test the entire list services you found as it would be enough to select 3-5 most appealing platforms. After a few days of exploitation, you should be ready to name your favorite service. Also, pay attention to prices as two equally equipped and convenient venues may vary in their cost.
Best Way to Online Secure Documents Sharing
The times when document sharing was time-consuming and irritating process are long gone. In the era of the Internet and pervasive dissemination of gadgets, the exchange of the files is extremely easy. Commonly, no one is interested in getting a hard copy of a document: its digital version is equally (or even more) convenient to work with. Indeed, it does not take any physical space, it can be viewed on diverse devices, and a user can store a large volume of information considering a deal or a project in his pocket.
The shift towards online data sharing has not occurred within a few days: it was pretty long transition until the moment when deal-makers realized that it is cheaper and more convenient to exchange the data online. Microsoft Office files and PDF documents came to substitute piles of paper. The need for new instruments for information sharing emerged due to the ever-growing desire of businessmen to escalate their performance: deal-makers become impatient and want to work on several projects simultaneously. It means that they have to stay in touch with a few partners that might be located in geographically remote areas, they have to manage large volumes of information and share it with the right partners. Hence, multiple actions have to be executed concurrently and they must be executed fast as sometimes you have minutes or even seconds to share a certain file in order to succeed.
In such conditions the need for highly efficient services becomes evident. After all, it even seems ridiculous to use email to send Microsoft Office files and PDF documents in a course of a large-scale cross-national project. Luckily, contemporary technologies are capable of satisfying the demand for fast and convenient file sharing platform. Generally, potential customers have to make a basic decision if they want to use the free software or if they are ready to pay for a subscription.
Paid virtual data rooms are utilized for secure business data sharing. These services allow businessmen to upload any types of documents containing information on their performance and to share them with selected stakeholders. Virtual data rooms proved to be useful for deal-makers regardless their aims and industries of operation: M&A deals, clinical studies, biotech licensing, fundraising, investment banking, real estate, and numerous other spheres currently benefit from the exploitation of VDRs.
Virtual data rooms have three rather obvious advantages that make them be the most reasonable choice for secure online file sharing:
The room can be set up in a few minutes and it would not take you long time to upload all the necessary Microsoft Office files and other documents. After this stage is complete, you may share your files with anyone you want and it would take a person a few seconds to access the file even if thousands of miles separate you. Moreover, VDRs allow you to work on several projects simultaneously and you have a chance to save a considerable amount of time.
The best providers encrypt both the repository and data transfer ways with the strongest 256-bit encryption to keep hackers away. There is two-factor authentication for users to prevent unauthorized access to the files. Also, most virtual data rooms offer safety features like fence view for discreet reviewing, different levels of access to control the activity of users, data shredder to destroy files instantly, dynamic watermarking for documents, Antivirus Protection, customizable Document Permissions, and many other useful functions that help to share data securely during any deals.
The data room service allows you to work with the documents whenever and wherever you want. In fact, free services provide you with the same possibility but there is a noticeable difference between VDRs and free software in terms of functionality and security level. Virtual data rooms give you more freedom of actions and facilitate your work with diverse tools such as advanced search instruments, convenient word processors, etc.
The need in secure online file sharing instrument is undeniable. The question is which one to choose. The answer depends on the needs, goals, and abilities of a potential user. After all, each type of software has its own peculiarities, advantages, and audience.
More reasons to use virtual data rooms:
Businesses around the world have to keep up with rapidly changing times. Within only one generation, companies had to adopt utterly new marketing channels and approaches, figure out and implement technologies and compete with the whole globe. That’s something business owners didn’t have to worry about even a couple of decades ago.
And companies in the United States face even more specific and unique challenges. But fortunately, they can be solved with the help of virtual data room software.
It’s hard to predict the future
In the US, things continuously change for businesses. And it is tough to predict anything from market trends to customer needs as the economic climate changes quickly. Electronic data room providers give companies a chance to adapt to changes almost instantly making the corporate data easy to access.
The management of finances
Small and medium businesses have to handle an enormous number of finance-related processes like reducing costs, financing, profit margins, cash flow, and so on. Of course, all these activities generate numerous documents and sometimes require a third-party specialist to join the processes. With virtual data room solutions, it’s not an issue. Simply upload the files to the repository and invite the financial consultant to the workspace.
The monitoring of the performance
Since the US economic climate changes all the time, it is vital to control how well does the company adapt to new conditions. The best data room providers offer detailed analytics that will help business owners to control the performance of their companies in the real-time mode. Also, reports will give useful insights that improve decision-making.
As the market shifts and technologies evolve, regulations follow the changes. And a company needs to update its documentation accordingly. It is way easier to do with the help of online data room providers. Once your corporate data is online, you can access and edit it whenever it is needed.
Hiring new specialists
Modern US businesses need to have way more extensive staff than a couple of decades ago. But each new employee requires someone to introduce them to the processes and documentation. Using virtual data room service providers, you can simply give new specialist access to the repository and let them study everything on their own.
The age of big data
The virtual data room pricing is affordable, even for small businesses. And the costs you invest in this software will be worth it because the VDR provider will keep all your numerous documents safe and organized. Therefore, you will never experience a data leak that demands a lot of money or any other predicament that happens due to poorly managed data.
All the best virtual data rooms offer round-the-clock support. And that’s a much-needed service because sometimes you need help immediately, especially if you’re in the middle of the deal. If you compare virtual data rooms, you will notice that most of them are US-based. Thus, you won’t have any issues with the support team – they will know all the nuances the US business might face.