The world is swimming in data. In 2008, the digital universe alone created 487 exabytes or 487 billion gigabytes worth of data. In this Harvard Business Review article, John Sviokla wrote that the figure would grow five-fold in 2012.
That number could have ballooned by now. Can you hazard a guess? Can you also imagine how your startup is contributing to this vast data ocean? You will keep adding bytes as your business grows. There's no better time to discuss how you manage, share, and protect your digital data than now.
If you’re thinking of cloud storage, that is not enough, especially when you’re preparing to raise funds. You don’t want to appear disorganized to potential investors. You also don't want important documents to fall into the wrong hands. In such cases, consider the value of using a virtual data room. For beginners, study these 5 benefits of using a VDR:
It Saves Time
The VDR will serve as your startup’s online data warehouse. It is where you store and organize all kinds of startup-related documentation, such as contracts, licenses and permits, intellectual property information, and financial statements. When it’s time to engage a potential investor, you have all the files in one place. You can grant access to the reviewing party since multiple-user access is allowed.
You can set up a VDR in just a few days, some even minutes. Once it’s up and running, you should be able to add and invite users without fuss. Uploading, tracking, and auditing your documents should be easy. Access to the system is 24/7.
When raising money for capital or selling your startup, the VDR allows potential investors or buyers to interact with your data in real time. It helps facilitate the due diligence process more efficiently — and effectively. You can create a prompt that will inform the other party of new documents that they need to review. Virtual data rooms also indicate which documents have not been viewed. With this checklist function, you’ll be able to keep track of the status of each of your document.
Strict security is one of the key features of an online data room. Your challenge is to look for a provider that offers multiple levels of data protection. The standard should be as high as that of the data centers for top banks and financial institutions in the world.
For instance, Firmex has a lineup of global clients including Barclays, Deloitte, and Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile, Intralinks boasts of 90,000 customers from around the globe. You may also have heard of Citrix ShareFile, which allows integration with other platforms such as Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.
It Costs Less in the Long Run
The upfront costs may seem high. But when viewed from a long-term perspective, it can save you money. Since you can track the progress of a deal online, there is no need to travel back and forth to a physical location. You don’t need to deliver data in paper form — an unsecured way of course — and neither do the investors or bidders. Think about the amount you’ll save on fuel, printing, and delivery. You also get to skip paying lawyer’s fees just to get your documents collated and sorted out for you.
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