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Asked for a friend: I need to set up a data room for a fund raising and wanted to get advice/recommendations on third party providers

Virutal Data Room Best Practices & ProvidersIt's that simple. My friend is a CFO preparing for a funding and he needs to select and set up a data room. Suggestions and recommendations are welcome. If you have hints as to the best ways to set up and manage an virtual data room, along with platform recommendations, that would be welcome.

Answers

Topic Expert
Dana Price
Title: Vice President, M&A
Company: McGraw Hill Education
(Vice President, M&A, McGraw Hill Education) |

Intralinks. Easy to use- not cheap, but worth every penny.

Peter Skinner
Title: Director of Finance & Administration
Company: Monterey Regional Waste Management Distr..
(Director of Finance & Administration, Monterey Regional Waste Management District) |

Box.net is inexpensive and it is easy to manage files and permissions. Most people are familiar with how to access and use it.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I just used Dropbox for the same reasons.

Anthony Goodwin
Title: Director
Company: Direction Exchange Ltd
(Director, Direction Exchange Ltd) |

Until recently I worked for a company called Imprima who have just launched a new data room platform that puts them way ahead of the rest. Service is first class and I believe they price competitively, so give them a try!

Mike Poe
Title: CFO
Company: XinRay Systems Inc
(CFO, XinRay Systems Inc) |

I've used ShareVault in the recent past. After a few technical glitches that were fixed by their Tech Support staff, it worked very well. Their system appears very secure, and I liked its access control and usage tracking features. We were asked to use ShareVault, so I don’t know how it compares to other data room services.

Bob Gold
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Atrenne Integrated Solutions
(Chief Financial Officer, Atrenne Integrated Solutions) |

We recently completed a transaction that involved over 30,000 pages of due diligence. We used the Merrill "DataSite" product (www.datasite.com). For pure functionality and security/user administration I found this to be a great data room with OUTSTANDING customer service. Most sites will charge you per page uploaded (with volume/tier pricing) and then later a maintenance charge per page which is significantly less. Be warned, it can be a little on the costly side, but worth every penny. I would recommend you talk with several vendors and develop a list of the functionality you require, then compare the sites. They will all run demos for you, but unless you understand your requirements you won't be able to make a good decision. One additional consideration you will want to think about is how long you will maintain the site. When I join a company, I typically set up a data room and maintain it for financing due diligence, potential future transactions, etc. Rather than wait for a transaction, it saves me a lot of time to just maintain a data room.

Jane Stevens
Title: Analyst
Company: Calgary Law Firm
(Analyst, Calgary Law Firm) |

Hi John, I was in a similar position as you last year trying to find a data room for our firm and came across this site, which offers a good comparison. To make things easier for you, I compared all the providers already mentioned in this thread: http://virtual-data-rooms.findthebest.com/compare/2-3-4-10/ShareFileVDR-vs-Firmex-vs-Merrill-Datasite-vs-IntraLinks-Dealspace
We ultimately went with Firmex because of their unlimited use subscription fee (no per page fees and no hidden costs). But I would also follows Robert's advice and make a list of what features are important to you and then talk to several vendors.

Donald Koscheka
Title: Principal
Company: Bluecloud Communications
(Principal, Bluecloud Communications) |

If your friend has sharepoint, they van create their own virtual data room at little cost. Basically they would need to set up an extranet and add user licenses for the external parties. If they use windows server, it comes with a free version of sharepoint that will allow them to store up 4gb of data.

Joan Nevins
Title: CFO
Company: Kalido Inc
(CFO, Kalido Inc) |

I think Merrill is really the industry standard and the one which most bankers would recommend. My experience with it has been very good and their customer service is terrific. I would not want to go with a home-grown solution for something like this.

Thomas Phillips
Title: President
Company: Effective Agreements
(President, Effective Agreements) |

I think there are many, many capable vendors. I have explored ShareVault, and been impressed. It is a smaller company and a less expensive solution, but still rigorous.
Just for the record, and because I like being a voice-in-the-wind, it is not the vendor. It is how the data room is organized in the first place and how it is managed that matters. Who you allow to see what and when is just as important as tracking data, for example.

Scott Kleinberg
Title: CFO
Company: Undisclosed
(CFO, Undisclosed) |

Appfolio is great - simple and inexpensive. No incremental fees for number of pages, etc.

Michael Goldberg
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: MG Financial
LinkedIn Profile
(Chief Financial Officer, MG Financial) |

Are there any updates to creating a Data Room since there is so much new technology out there? Our law firm has offered to set one up for us as we prepare for our Series A but I am wondering if we might not just set it up ourselves?

I welcome your advice.

Eric Warncke
Title: SEO Analyst
Company: Three-Ships
(SEO Analyst, Three-Ships) |

I've been using Citrix's Sharefile for about 3 years and love it a lot. https://www.sharefile.com/virtual-data-room

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