The Virtual Data Room (VDR) is an online tool that securely stores and makes available uploaded documentation. Quite often, VDRs are used as secure collaboration nodes to aid in the due diligence process of an M&A transaction. Other common use cases include capital raising and asset management. With cost-/time-efficiency and security benefits, VDRs have replaced physical data rooms as a means of disclosing sensitive info during the due diligence process.

Virtual data rooms are a common component of legal and contract execution processes, fixed property transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. They usually contain up-to-date legal information required for due diligence and compliance, information that may be of interest to potential buyers, bidders, or parties to a contract.

Why Do People Use VDRs?

One of the several advantages of online data room software is that they are available on demand. That is, you can use what you want and whenever you want. The main reason for using virtual data room M&A, audit, and other services is to store and share documents safely and efficiently, both between employees of a company and employees of several different companies. This makes the benefits of VDR applicable to a variety of industries and situations. While we generally associate their use with the financial services sector, especially asset, and joint venture management, mergers and acquisitions, many industries now use digital data rooms in their day-to-day operations to meet their information and data needs.

How to Choose a Data Room Software Provider?

Having decided that your organization needs a virtual deal room, you need to make another decision – decide on a provider, i.e. an organization that will be responsible for the reliability and safety of your documents. You need to choose a vendor according to the following criteria:

  • work experience – it is determined by the availability of ready-made projects so that your electronic data room is not the first, and this does not lead to problems;
  • cost – to obtain objective data, you need to compare offers from several companies, not forgetting about other factors;
  • technical support – preferably round-the-clock, with which it is easy to contact and solve the problems encountered;
  • meeting your needs – not a standard product but software with flexible changing functionality;
  • a simple and intuitive interface that does not require special knowledge and skills, so that each user can work freely;
  • provision by the provider of the possibility of scanning and transforming the existing documentation into digital format;
  • security of stored data – basically, it implies the level of protection of different providers. It is approximately the same, but it still does not interfere with clarification.

Top 5 Data Room Providers M&A, Real Estate & More

Currently, one of the most reputable and trustworthy vendors of data room services are iDeals, Drooms, Digify, Merrill, and DealRoom. Let’s dig into their pros and cons!

iDeals

This secure data room service offers its users:

  • intuitive interface and simple navigation;
  • the availability of several languages (usually, VDRs support only English);
  • multi-level access control;
  • the possibility to customize the program according to your needs;
  • instant drag-and-drop file upload.

Most frequently, iDeals is used in real estate, M&A transactions, fund development spheres, and by legal firms. The vendor has been on the market since 2008 and has developed a good reputation not only in the US but also around the globe. So far, the iDeals software has no weaknesses.

Drooms

When it comes to Drooms, users point out the next benefits:

  • polite and timely customer support;
  • intuitive interface;
  • fast-working software;
  • top-notch security;
  • easy migration from other VDRs;
  • upload of large files.

Yet, you can find comments stating that indexing works poorly: in some cases, it’s not possible to change indexes within a folder. You need to upload the file again to change its index number.

Digify

This provider perfectly suits small teams (up to 500 users) and offers all the basic VDR features like SSL encryption, automated e-mail circulation, reporting, time-based self-destruct feature, etc. Yet, its M&A data room software has a few significant drawbacks: 

  • pricing policy is not fully transparent and may change based on your needs;
  • the text in the indexes may be inconvenient to read (many customers draw attention to this issue, still, it hasn’t been addressed);
  • automated emails are limited to one sender name.

Digify guarantees the security of your data. Nevertheless, the software may be quite difficult to work with.

Merrill

Generally speaking, Merrill is an M&A virtual data room vendor as it provides services mainly for mergers and acquisitions. The strengths of the software are a full-text search function (it’s not common in the industry) and a well-developed data storage management system. The main disadvantage of Merrill in comparison with other companies is the absence of a free trial period. 

DealRoom

Last but not least, there is DealRoom. The vendor is known for its data room Due Diligence service that is carried out flawlessly on an urgent basis. No wonder the DealRoom software is used by businesses of all sizes for all possible purposes (M&A in the first instance). Apart from that, the VDR provider ensures batch loading and has developed one of the most user-friendly interfaces in the industry.

Still, there are some cons as well:

  • poor file management;
  • slow customer support service (online chat is not available, the support team reply at least 30 minutes via e-mail)

So, as you can see, all the ranked providers of virtual data rooms have their advantages and weaknesses. With the knowledge of what factors determine a reliable vendor, you can easily choose the best virtual data room software for your needs!