Many organizations now use virtual data rooms (VDRs).
However, virtual data room prices can sometimes be confusing to customers.
Here we ask, what are virtual data rooms, and what sort of services should you expect for different prices?
What is a virtual data room (VDR)?
A VDR is an online database that allows a business to safely store data and also to share it with clients and/or partners.
With the move to cloud-based computing, many businesses want to store large amounts of data in the cloud.
That data is often confidential, such as the information involved in financial transactions.
A VDR is an online repository for any business-related documentation, to ensure that it’s safe and secure, but also easy to access.
The majority of data stored in a VDR is of high value to the organization or individual.
That data can be sensitive and critical to ongoing business operations.
The data stored in a VDR can be anything from financial or legal documents to IP (intellectual property) material or trademark-related documentation.
There are two primary aspects that companies look for in a VDR; highly secure storage for their information/data but also easy access to those who may need to use the data on a daily basis.
Virtual data room pricing explained
If you investigate virtual data room pricing, you will see a wide variation in how providers charge businesses.
Many providers still rely on per-page pricing, a throwback to the days when they had to be at your actual location to make copies of your physical documents.
That old-fashioned way of approaching VDR pricing means that you can see costs anywhere from $20,000 to in excess of $100,000, depending on timeframes and other factors.
Your costs will depend on how large a project is, its value, as well as how long the project will last.
For example, M&A (mergers and acquisitions) teams may need to use a VDR for as long as the project takes.
They may have to follow certain rules, such as preparing NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) when handling sensitive info, which can extend that period.
On the other hand, it could be a shorter period in the case of smaller organizations.
Pricing structures for virtual data room providers
As VDR technology improves, you’ll see more and more vendors move away from that per-page pricing and adopt different structures.
There are numerous vendors already offering these structures, and you’ll also find “hybrid structures” that include one or more elements from the different choices:
While traditional and still widely used, this pricing is better suited for smaller projects where a business knows they only need to store a limited number of documents and that there will be a set number of users needing access to that data.
Prices can typically vary from about $0.40 to $0.90 per page. It should be noted that exceeding your storage capacity will incur extra charges.
Perhaps the simplest pricing option for VDRs, this is ideal when you know that you only have a set number of people who need access to the documents and data.
For example, if an M&A team is working on a deal and there are only six members in that team, then this may be the best value-for-money choice for you.
3. Data capacity
The need for data and document storage can vary greatly. If you only have a limited amount of information you need stored, then choosing a vendor plan that offers a set amount of storage would be ideal for you.
Look at the different plans on offer and see if the GB storage meets your needs, both now and in the future.
4. Monthly rates
Nobody knows what tomorrow may bring, and that saying is especially true with organizations that cannot predict their data storage needs in the long term.
If you see your main needs as being flexibility and scalability, then a monthly plan may be ideal.
Monthly rates offer a set amount of storage, the ability to customize functionality, and unlimited users, making it the perfect choice for many companies.
5. Annual plans
If your organization needs to use a VDR on a regular or ongoing basis, then you may want to consider an annual plan.
The advantage to organizations that use VDRs regularly is that an annual plan can offer savings of as much as 30% when compared to monthly plans.
Virtual data room price comparison
Just as needs vary, so do prices.
You should consider carefully exactly what your VDR needs will be over the next year and then look at what vendors both offer and charge.
What may initially seem like a great deal may not work out as cost-effective when you consider changing needs over the course of a year. Some of the leading VDR vendors include:
PandaDoc VDR software allows you to easily create digital sales rooms to connect and effectively collaborate with multiple parties while enjoying process security and outstanding document traceability. All plans include 24 hour email and chat support.
Take advantage of their free 14-day trial to see how PandaDoc VDR features work and make life easier for you.
There are three main pricing tiers:
- Essentials: This annual plan is priced at $19 per month per user (seat cost per month, two users max) and includes document automation features such as templates, real-time tracking and notifications, and analytics. It also includes unlimited documents and eSignatures.
- Business: This is PandaDoc’s most popular plan and includes everything in Essentials, plus CRM and Zapier integrations, content library, and custom branding. Priced at $49 per month (seat cost per month), this annual plan is for users who want seamless integrations and to send documents in bulk.
- Enterprise: A plan for large companies with complex workflows. Any potential users should contact PandaDoc sales for pricing information. This option includes everything in business, plus smart content, advanced quotes, and an unlimited number of team workspaces.
Note: PandaDoc plans to do an early access V1 product launch in November 2023 that will only be available to existing customers. During this stage, Deal Rooms will be available as an add-on for $20/seat/month for both Enterprise and Business. A full public launch with final pricing is planned after a few months of Early Access.
FirmRoom offers you the ability to track all activity by your VDR users. With a 30-day free trial available, you can see how good a fit this vendor is for your needs and budget.
FirmRoom has three main pricing tiers:
- Standard. Perfect for small businesses, this package offers up to 10GB of storage, unlimited users, and unlimited admins. $695 per month (paid monthly).
- Pro. FirmRoom’s most popular package, the Pro level, offers up to 50GB of storage, unlimited users, and unlimited admins. $1395 per month (paid monthly).
- Enterprise. Perfect for even the largest project, the Enterprise plan offers up to 200GB of storage, unlimited users, and unlimited admins. $2995 per month (paid monthly).
DealRoom, as the name suggests, is very much aimed at the M&A sector.
It offers a wide range of useful features, such as multi-party management of projects and fully-automated real-time reporting, offering real insights into the data collected.
It offers a 14-day free trial, and there is a pipeline version available. Pricing tiers on the sell-side option are:
- Professional. Offers unlimited users and 5GB of data. $1,295 per month (billed annually).
- Professional plus. Offers unlimited users and 20GB of data as well as a dedicated customer success manager. $2,495 per month (billed annually).
- Enterprise. Offers unlimited users and 250GB of data. $4,995 per month (billed annually).
iDeals is another vendor that offers VDR technology to different sizes of businesses.
They provide eight levels of permissions for access, thus making it easy to protect very sensitive data. They also provide 24/7 chat support if you encounter issues, as well as a 30-day free trial to make sure it’s a good fit.
There are three levels of VDR service:
- Pro. Gives you one project, up to five administrators, unlimited users, and flexible storage of up to 10GB. Price on request.
- Business. Gives you unlimited projects, unlimited administrators, unlimited users, and flexible storage up to 250GB. Price on request.
- Enterprise. Gives you unlimited projects, unlimited administrators, unlimited users, an unlimited preparation period, and flexible storage of up to 1TB. Price on request.
Fordata offers useful VDR rooms that focus on the functions you need most.
You can assign access rights as you upload files (which can be in any format), as well as export reports easily to Excel.
Fordata also has an easy and intuitive drag-and-drop upload system.
Again, there are three main pricing tiers:
- VDR Lite. Provides 1GB of storage space (you can buy extra space if needed), and you can have up to 15 users (also scalable if needed). Their technical support is only available from 9 am to 5 pm (CET), and there can be a response time of up to three hours. €199 per month if paid monthly.
- VDR Basic. With this plan, you get one data room with flexible data storage and an unlimited number of users. You do get 24/7 technical support as well as simple document upload and VDR management as well as a DVD of your data room archive at the end of the transaction. Price on request.
- VDR Pro. Their top plan offers you multiple VDRs, but the minimum contract must be 12 months. You again have 24/7 technical support as well as simple document upload and VDR management and a DVD of your data room archive at the end of the transaction. Price on request.
SecureDocs is more aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.
They offer 24/7 support, a simple and intuitive interface, and advanced security features.
The software is also easy to set up, meaning you can have a VDR ready to use in under ten minutes.
They offer three different choices of VDR provision:
- Three-month plan. Perfect for short-term projects, allowing you to upload, share, track, and store all your sensitive documents that can be related to anything from M&A to bankruptcy proceedings. $400 per month (billed quarterly).
- Annual plan. Ideal for longer-term projects or if you want an ongoing repository for relevant documents so you are “deal ready”. This plan is also perfect if you think any deal will take longer than three months to complete. $250 per month (billed annually).
- Volume plan. This is aimed at organizations that may be working on multiple deals at the same time and need to keep everything organized so they can access relevant data at any time. Price on request (billed annually).
Factors that affect VDR pricing
You may be wondering why virtual data room prices seem so high and why there can sometimes be such disparity in pricing levels.
VDR software is very complex, and vendors offer a mix of basic features and advanced ones. There are several factors that affect VDR pricing:
- Services offered. The complexity of services offered in any plan is going to depend on how complex the needs of the purchasing organization are. If you’re an SME, then you will likely need fewer tools to optimize your document flow, thus meaning a lower price. Larger organizations will need more complex tools and will see higher pricing plans.
- Security. With cybercrime on the rise, security is an essential factor to consider. In fact, ransomware attacks increased from around 171,000 in 2019/20 to over 5.5 million in 2020/21. Depending on how sensitive your data is, you will want the highest levels of cybersecurity, something that can see your price rise.
- Developer reputation. Some VDR vendors have been around for many years and often work with only large enterprise-level organizations. You will find that these vendors often charge higher rates to reflect both their reputation and the complexity of the features they offer.
- Subscription plans. As with other SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions, some vendors offer more flexible pricing plans that can fit the often restricted budgets of smaller organizations. As you would expect, you will pay a higher total price if you choose to pay monthly rather than annually.
Choose a virtual data room with the right price
As with anything tech-related, when it comes to virtual data room prices you often get what you pay for, but what you pay for also has to meet your needs.
You also need to consider when new VDR vendors enter the market.
These new vendors will often offer good discounts and benefits in order to attract customers.
They may also avoid the pitfalls of earlier vendors as they developed later and could respond to the demands that emerged.
When it comes to new vendors, you should consider your options carefully to make sure you’re still signing up with a reliable provider.
For example, PandaDoc has a long and proven history of providing SaaS services in the document workflow field.
So, why not check out PandaDoc’s VDR room software and see if it’s right for you? Especially as you can sign up for a free 14-day trial to try it out.