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iDeals Virtual Data Room

iDeals offers on-premise and cloud-based virtual data rooms solutions. It caters to investment banks, legal firms, life sciences, energy, real estate and other large corporations. Primary features include document management, docu...Read more about iDeals Virtual Data Room

Onehub

Onehub is a cloud-based collaboration tool and virtual data room that helps users securely store and share their business files. It can be customized to meet users' specific requirements and custom branding needs. Onehub offe...Read more about Onehub

Ansarada

At Ansarada, we bring order to organizational chaos to increase business value. Our mission is to raise and protect every company's potential. For 17 years Ansarada has helped businesses in 180 countries. From helping transact o...Read more about Ansarada

Datasite Diligence Virtual Data Room

Datasite provides a Saas solution for the M&A lifecycle. Its flagship product, Datasite Diligence, offers sophisticated analytics, ironclad security and dedicated customer support to enable deal success, from deal preparation and ...Read more about Datasite Diligence Virtual Data Room

SecureDocs Data Room

SecureDocs is a virtual data room tool used for storing and sharing confidential documents both internally and externally. It is suitable for businesses of any size and a range of industries including used during due diligence, me...Read more about SecureDocs Data Room

PandaDoc

PandaDoc is an all-in-one tool to create, edit, send, track, and eSign documents quickly and easily. Discover a better way to generate professional-looking and error-free proposals, quotes, and contracts with PandaDoc. Win more de...Read more about PandaDoc

Multipartner Virtual Data Room

Multipartner’s Virtual Data Rooms are reliable, professional, simple to use and support companies, institutions and Public Administrations to improve performances, optimizing results and reducing costs. Virtual Data Rooms (VDRs) u...Read more about Multipartner Virtual Data Room

EthosData

EthosData's virtual data room platform helps users manage, plan and secure transaction-related information such as Initial Public Offering (IPO) preparation tasks, M&A transactions and other fundraising activities. Designed for bu...Read more about EthosData

ShareVault

ShareVault is a virtual data room solution that facilitates the sharing of confidential documents with third parties during due diligence and other vital business processes. It suitable for businesses of any size and serves a broa...Read more about ShareVault

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Docully

Starting at just $100 per month, DocullyVDR is a trusted and a secured Virtual Data Room platform for strategic transactions. Enriched with all industry standard virtual data room features, DocullyVDR also offers some compelling c...Read more about Docully

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Google Drive

Google Drive helps users store company data in one place. Users can access files from desktop and mobile devices and control how team members share these files. The platform provides a central admin panel, data-loss prevention and...Read more about Google Drive

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Orangedox

Orangedox is a cloud-based software that lets you store, track, customize and share documents. You can easily download files and share them using secure links with your clients and colleagues. Orangedox integrates seamlessly with ...Read more about Orangedox

Admincontrol Data Room

Admincontrol’s Data Room is a cloud-based solution designed for businesses of all sizes. The solution is custom-designed to support due diligence and other similar business processes. Key features include document sharing, Q & A, ...Read more about Admincontrol Data Room

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Imprima Virtual Data Rooms

The Imprima Virtual Data Room is highly secure, reliable and easy to use. Suitable for any type of Due Diligence transaction. It provides secure data sharing and collaboration for deal-makers, accelerated by built-in AI tools, wi...Read more about Imprima Virtual Data Rooms

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Projectfusion

Projectfusion, by OD Consultancy is a cloud-based virtual data room solution that helps businesses of all sizes with a unified platform to manage projects, set up data rooms and handle file sharing. Primarily catering to pharmaceu...Read more about Projectfusion

4.8 (5 reviews)

CapLinked

CapLinked is a cloud-based virtual data room for file sharing and document management that helps businesses seeking to exchange confidential documents with third parties. The most common uses of the application include mergers and...Read more about CapLinked

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FORDATA VDR

Fordata Virtual Data Room is a cloud-based virtual data room (VDR) solution that allows businesses in the financial and banking industries to securely manage confidential documents and communication between transaction parties. Fo...Read more about FORDATA VDR

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Vitrium Security

Vitrium is a cloud-based document management and digital rights management (DRM) solution that empowers businesses to securely store and share confidential sensitive files with trusted parties with ease, online and offline, withou...Read more about Vitrium Security

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PactCentral

PactCentral is a secure cloud-based VDR platform that stores and shares all confidential documents with third parties. Replacing traditional data rooms, PactCentral streamlines document collaboration by providing advanced editing ...Read more about PactCentral

4.8 (9 reviews)

Box

Simplify your tech stack and save on cost with the Content Cloud: a secure, easy-to-use platform built for the entire content lifecycle, from file creation and sharing, to co-editing, e-signature, classification, and retention. An...Read more about Box

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

The best thing about the internet is how easily it lets people share information. That can be the worst thing about it, too.

A virtual data room (VDR) is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) that lets companies share sensitive information via the internet, while preserving full control and exclusive ownership of it. VDRs play an important role in supporting external-facing workflows in many fields, including finance—mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings (IPOs) are two common use cases— law and scientific research.

In this buyer's guide, we answer and explain:

What Is Virtual Data Room Software?

Common Features of Virtual Data Room Software

What Type of Buyer Are you?

What Is Virtual Data Room Software?

A VDR's main function is to store and serve documents in a secure manner. You can think of a VDR as a highly secure alternative to using email to share documents.

Screenshot-showing-drag-and-drop-file-upload-in-Firmex's-VDR

Screenshot showing drag-and-drop file upload in Firmex's VDR

To understand why a VDR is more secure, first consider the many insecurities introduced when relying on email attachments. For example, let's say your company emails a contract as a .PDF or .DOC file to a customer for a signature. In theory, that customer could:

  • Claim they never received it, couldn't open it or view it

  • Print out or copy the contract and use it to solicit better bids from competitors

  • Download the contract to an insecure workstation where it gets leaked

  • Use software to surreptitiously change parts of the contract and claim it as the original

Now imagine that instead of a contract, you need to share confidential information that has regulatory or legal protections, like a client's investment or health records. Sharing sensitive documents via email opens up a host of legal liabilities.

It's important to remember that other file sharing tools, such as Dropbox and Sharepoint, can also introduce the same vulnerabilities as sharing files via email. While convenient, file sharing services like these are not a viable alternative to a VDR.

Keep in mind that a company can be on the right side of the law, but still lose money proving it in court. VDRs are designed to prevent these scenarios from happening in the first place. They do this by adding a variety of features and protections that email services lack.

Common Features of Virtual Data Room Software

Because of the unique role they play, VDRs can seem like an amalgam of several different genres of software. They typically provide applications in four main areas: Security, Document Management, Communication and Collaboration and Integrations. These are discussed individually below.

Stronger Security is the primary motivation for purchasing VDR software. VDR software helps a company securely share information by means of the following applications:

Access control

Limit who can view, edit and share stored documents, including internal and external access

Encryption

Encrypt data (either at rest, in transit or both) to prevent unauthorized access

Digital Rights management

Prevent unauthorized downloading, copying and printing of stored documents

Secure browsing

Allow users to view and browse documents while online, but prevents saving or printing them

Document Management applications help control and monitor who can access and edit documents stored in the VDR with applications such as:

Check-in/Check-out

Control the chain of custody for digital documents, preventing version and ownership conflicts

Version control

Add versioning functionality to individual documents, providing reversion options and maintaining a record of changes

Communication and Collaboration tools help communicate with clients about documents and information stored within the VDR. They handle:

Alerts and notifications

Send alerts to clients (via standard email) to notify them when actions are required (to, for example, view and sign a document)

Q & A

Add simple communication functionality so clients can ask questions within the VDR environment

Collaboration

Tools for working collaboratively (adding comments and making suggestions to documents) within the VDR environment

Integrations applications help connect the VDR to existing content management systems. They assist with:

Integration with CMS

Link VDR to an existing content management system for more seamless sharing and publishing workflows

Branding and customization

Add design layout options to help match the VDR interface to your company brand

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Many VDR vendors tailor the applications and functionality of their products to use cases within specific industry verticals. Others offer more general purpose VDRs that can be customized to various use cases by means of workflow templates.

VDRs commonly support workflows in three general areas:

Financial: Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are the most common scenario requiring use of a VDR. With M&As, the number of parties needing to access the information changes over time as a deal is considered, analyzed, discussed and agreed to or rejected. VDRs also provide records of access, which can be very useful for settling disputes and proving that the necessary disclosures were made. Initial public offerings (IPOs) are another common activity for which VDRs are employed.

Scientific: VDRs play an important role in scientific industries, allowing for the secure sharing of data between research institutions, manufacturers, trial partners, healthcare providers and regulatory agencies. VDR collaboration tools are particularly important for many scientific processes and workflows.

Legal: Some VDR vendors specialize in tools designed to support legal litigation. Lawsuits can involve massive quantities of documentation which needs to be shared, selectively, with one or more outside parties. VDRs play an important role in not only making certain information available, but also in preventing accidental disclosure.

If you require a VDR for a use case not listed above, you're not out of luck. VDR vendors offer a fairly wide range of both industry specific and general purpose functionality. As with any software purchase, your job as the buyer is to find the product that will best support your company's existing workflows and overall strategy.