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How DocSend stacks up against other virtual data room options

Deciding on the right VDR software can be difficult. Let us make it a little easier for you.
virtual data room

The virtual data room (VDR) space is crowded. There are so many options, each with different features, different security settings, and sometimes drastically different price points. This makes finding the right solution for your company confusing: How do you know which option will keep your data safe and organized without breaking the bank? Never fear — we’ve done a virtual data room comparison for you. Here is a deep dive on six of the most prominent virtual data room options out there. In this article, we’ll break down your options in terms of price, ease of use, and collaboration features.

DocSend Spaces

DocSend Spaces is a lean virtual data room solution you can use for fundraising, board management, investor relations, and more. Its strength lies in its simplicity: DocSend is simple to use and easy to manage and is an economical solution for small and mid-size businesses.

Features and ease of use

Compared to the other data rooms on this list, DocSend is stripped down. There aren’t a ton of extraneous features or options; its intuitive and simple design means that anyone can create a data room, with no prior experience.

Here are some of DocSend’s most notable features:

  • Personalized viewer experience: Customize each Space with a logo and banner for a more personalized or professional look. Add a watermark to a single document or to every document in the space.
  • Smart permissions management: Easily manage who can access each document within a shared Space with viewer verification. This granulation is more secure and controlled than what legacy data rooms can provide. You can remotely enable an individual’s ability to download files, and you can make it mandatory to sign an NDA before viewing a confidential document.
  • Page-by-page analytics: See who viewed not just each document but also each page of each document in your collection, and how long they spent there.
  • Spaces duplication: You can easily create a standardized template space with your logo and other customized materials, which you then duplicate and personalize based on the prospective audience.

Collaborative abilities

Viewers can access a DocSend Space from any operating system or device, without needing to download specific software. Permissions are granted on the link level, so no account is needed.

Price

DocSend is considered a highly economical VDR solution. Instead of the common pay-per-data-room or pay-per-user models, DocSend charges a monthly subscription fee. Plans including Spaces start at just $45 a month, and you can create as many spaces as you like. The plans also give you access to DocSend’s full suite of capabilities, such as esignature and one-click NDAs.

Intralinks

Intralinks is what we call a legacy provider — it’s been on the market since 1996, making it one of the oldest VDR solutions out there. This longevity can be both a plus and a minus. While Intralinks has a lot of resources and support to offer customers, their software can be cumbersome and difficult to customize.

Intralinks works with a lot of Fortune 100 companies — massive enterprise-level clients involved in large-scale deals involving huge amounts of data. While Intralinks handles that very competently, their functionality may be overkill for a smaller company’s needs.

Features and ease of use

Intralinks offers “secure file sync and share, collaborative teamwork spaces, large-scale virtual data rooms and structured workflows.” They lack many of the customization features common with newer VDR offerings, including custom domains and logo uploads for a branded interface.

Here are some key features offered by Intralinks:

  • Insights dashboard: View macro-level user activity, such as which users have opened which document and what documents are most popular on a group level.
  • Document security: Encrypted spaces require password protection. You can destroy files even after they have been downloaded.
  • Customer service: A 24/7 customer service line makes it easier to navigate this complex product.

Collaborative abilities

Intralinks offers mobile access and has a mobile app with the same functionality as the web. Viewers can access documents from any device without needing specific software.

Price

Intralinks users pay per data room, per deal, rather than paying with an annual subscription. Because of the complexity of the product, it can be rather expensive.

Merrill Corporation, DatasiteOne

Like Intralinks, Merrill’s DatasiteOne is a legacy VDR option primarily aimed at very large companies. Merrill positions data rooms as a Mergers and Acquisitions and due diligence tool, which can make it difficult to customize the rooms for other use cases, such as fundraising and sales.

Features and ease of use

DatasiteOne bills itself as being “built from extensive user testing with intuitive innovation that accelerates the deal with advanced simplicity.”

DatasiteOne’s key features include the following:

  • Ironclad security: Merrill claims to have some of the strictest global safety standards of any VDR. They offer multilevel controls and permissions, two-factor authentication, and AES 256-bit encryption.
  • Audit log: Monitor which of your employees made changes, and when.
  • Analytics: Look at macro-level engagement by document, user, role, and Q&A activity. You can export data and track findings over time.
  • Customer service: A 24/7 customer service line makes it easier to navigate this complex product.

Price

Merrill and many other large data room providers make their pricing available by consultation only. Their subscription-based service is considered to be pricey and is primarily aimed at large corporations.

Collaborative abilities

Merrill offers a mobile app for iOS but not Android. Documents can’t be accessed on mobile without the app, putting Android users at a disadvantage.

Firmex Virtual Data Rooms

Firmex is a newer addition to the market but still boasts many big-name clients, such as Deloitte and Deutsche Bank. They use the same secure data centers as major banks and financial institutions. They also bill themselves as a way to share confidential documents during mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, audits, litigation, and procurement projects.

Features and ease of use

As a newer and more modern option, Firmex is reported to be easier to use than the legacy providers, thanks to its less-cluttered interface.

Firmex’s key features include the following:

  • Fast upload speed: They boast unmatched bulk upload and download speed. You can upload many files while maintaining internal folder organization. Upload files on the go via email.
  • Flexible security: Data rooms are protected by encryption and access controls. You can choose where to store your documents: EU, US, or Canada. Firmex is compliant with security certifications in all three areas.
  • Ease of use: Get your data room up and running fast with a simple layout and 24/7 expert support.

Price

We were unable to ascertain the price, but Firmex promises “transparent pricing based on users and storage — with an unlimited-use subscription option.” They also offer a per-data-room pricing option.

Collaborative abilities

With Firmex, you can invite anyone to view your documents, even if the viewer doesn’t have an account.

They have a mobile app for iOS but not Android. Documents can’t be accessed on mobile without the app, which, again, puts Android users at a disadvantage.

Ansarada

Ansarada is an Australian company that specializes in tools for M&A and due diligence. As with Firmex, Ansarada presents itself as an alternative to clunky legacy systems.

Features and ease of use

Ansarada focuses on the features needed to execute standard M&A deals, with nothing extra on the side. This makes them more useful for executing individual deals versus longer-term storage needs.

Here are some of the key features Ansarada offers:

  • Ansarada Intelligent Data Assist (AiDA): What Ansarada calls “the ultimate data assistant.” This is AI technology that gives you insights by predicting outcomes and spotting risks.
  • Collaboration tools: Commenting, notifications, and role-based workflows. Excel and email integrations.
  • Security: Control who can access, save, or print documents. Delete files regardless of where they are saved.

Price

Pricing is clear on their website. Plans start at $39 a month and increase, based on features and the number of users. All plans include unlimited data and guest-user access.

Collaborative abilities

You can connect to Ansarada on any operating system or browser without needing special software or downloads.

Donnelly Financial Solutions (DFIN), Venue

RR Donnelly was founded in 1864. In 2016 it spun off DFIN, a fintech company. They focus on end-to-end risk and compliance solutions for global markets. Their VDR product, called Venue, is just one of many tools the company offers.

Features and ease of use

DFIN caters to large companies with their storied M&A expertise. Their full-service solutions may be more than most small and midsize companies need.

DFIN’s key features DFIN include the following:

  • Dedicated project manager: Every account gets a project manager to help them set up and run their data rooms, in addition to 24/7 support.
  • Integration with other DFIN solutions: You can use Venue in conjunction with other proprietary tools, such as eBrevia, an AI engine designed to help automate contract reviews.
  • Security features: Advanced permissions functions to control who can view, save, or print documents. Set document expiration dates and watermarks.

Price

Pricing is available by inquiry only, but their model is subscription-based.

Collaborative abilities

You can connect to Venue on any operating system or browser without needing special software or downloads.

Value in versatility

Still not sure? Here’s a chart to help you compare your options:

DocSend VDR virtual data room comparison chart

While massive companies may have plenty of money to drop on an exclusive VDR solution, most businesses want to get the most value out of their tech stack. You can do this by balancing price with versatility and functionality.

DocSend can give you the biggest bang for your buck by providing multiple easy-to-use tools at a reasonable price.