Early mornings. Late nights. Lots of running around in between... The life of running a startup!
If you are about to start work on an M&A, IPO or fundraising deal, you’re also about to come across virtual data rooms (VDRs).
Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘why should I pay for a VDR when platforms like Dropbox or Google Drive let me do something similar, but for free?’
A Virtual Data Room is very different to a Dropbox or Google Drive. Here are 5 instances where you always should consider a VDR:
1) You’re sharing highly sensitive information and need 100% security
VDRs were built for enterprises to store and share confidential information about a transaction. Dropbox was built for people to quickly share photos of their pets and latest holiday with their friends.
The result is that security is paramount to data room providers.
VDRs have international third-party security certificates and data centers that are physically secured by biometric access and monitored 24/7. In comparison, Dropbox’s security has been breached on a number of occasions.
Furthermore, VDRs allow you to revoke access to a document even after a user has opened that same document. You can also keep all files (regardless of their format) protected with passwords, personalised watermarks and customisable NDAs. Dropbox only lets you password protect your links.
Every M&A transaction faces unique challenges, depending on the nature of the transaction itself, participants involved and where they are located, budget, or who has access to what documentation to name just a few. And just as every deal is different, there is a marketplace full of virtual data room providers claiming to make the process easier.
The use of virtual data rooms increases every year, and while North America remains the biggest user of the technology, Europe and Asia are rapidly catching up. The growth is driven mainly by a few key factors, which all fit comfortably under the heading of due diligence. Data room technology offers the ability to reach across borders. It speeds up processes by reducing time frames and frustrations of document access during high-level deals, and gives peace of mind to all parties involved.
Why should you pay for a Virtual Data Room when file sharing platforms as Dropbox or Box.net or Google Docs are free?
Physical data rooms are quickly being replaced by virtual data rooms, partly because of the complex procedures that are necessary to protect the information held in these rooms. Having confidential deal information in a specific location means that the parties in a deal need to travel to and from the location each time they view documents, which also results in high costs associated with transport, accommodation, premises and security. Another complex issue is the on-site management of the venue, which needs to be restricted to only those who are essential to the due diligence process. Use of Virtual Data Rooms has considerably evolved over the years over its Physical counterpart in many ways.
Let’s take a closer look at the procedures involved in using a physical data room.
These days, it’s an exception rather than the rule to find companies using paper document storage instead of a professional and more secure platforms like a virtual data room for their confidential information. In most countries, building a data room was once a complex process.Thanks to the hard work of players in the industry and the quality service offered by many providers, data rooms have become accessible to many more clients.
Whether you’re an expert deal maker with years of experience or you’re setting up your very first data room, you’ll want to avoid these 5 common mistakes.