Secure Document Sharing M&A
We sat down with Orangedox CEO Chad Brown to discuss best practices for document sharing in the Mergers and Acquisitions process. Sharing sensitive documents is a necessary but risky part of mergers, acquisitions, and fundraising deals. Leaked financials or IPs can kill a deal’s momentum or reveal secrets to competitors. Slow document sharing can drag out due diligence for months.
To avoid these pitfalls, dealmakers need secure yet streamlined tools for sharing files with multiple parties. Orangedox is one such solution—a virtual data room integrating tightly with Google Drive and Dropbox for leakproof and accelerated dealmaking.
The Perils of Unprotected Document Sharing
Emailing confidential files or using consumer-grade file-sharing tools like Dropbox can put your deal at risk in several ways:
- No control over downstream sharing. Once a recipient downloads your file, they can easily share it with unauthorized parties. Competitors may access your financial projections or product roadmap.
- No tracking. You have no visibility into whether partners opened your files, which documents they viewed, or for how long.
- No security. Basic passwords provide only flimsy protection for sensitive data. And they do nothing to prevent recipients from sharing files downstream.
These limitations create unnecessary risks and slow down due diligence. Dealmakers need a better solution.
How Orangedox Eliminates Leaks and Speeds Due Diligence
Orangedox integrates file protection and access controls directly into Google Drive and Dropbox. Users point Orangedox to a cloud storage folder to create a virtual data room.
Key features include:
Secure document previews – Recipients can preview files without downloading them. Documents open directly in the browser and can’t be saved, copied, printed, or forwarded.
Device-level access – Each recipient can view files on 1-2 registered devices like their phone, tablet, or computer. Unregistered devices are denied access.
Detailed activity tracking – The admin sees who viewed which documents and for how long. Page-level analytics show reading time and scroll depth.
Real-time sync – Any changes to the cloud folder automatically sync to the data room. No need to manually upload new files.
Custom branding – Data rooms adopt your company logo, colors, and design for a professionally customized look.
Affordable pricing – Orangedox charges a flat monthly fee instead of the exorbitant per-GB pricing of old-school virtual data rooms.
These capabilities help dealmakers share files securely, monitor partner activity, speed up reviews, and close deals faster.
Use Cases: M&A, Fundraising, Lending Deals, and More
Orangedox initially gained traction among startups raising capital and companies pursuing mergers or acquisitions. These deals involve sharing highly sensitive documents with multiple external parties.
For example, an investment bank representing a company for sale will set up a virtual data room for potential buyers. As buyers perform due diligence, the bank grants access to financial records, customer contracts, HR documents, and more.
VCs use Orangedox as well. When evaluating funding applicants, investors want visibility into financial projections, cap tables, product roadmaps, and IP. Applicants prefer keeping such intel away from competitors.
Other common use cases include:
- Lending deals – Share financial and operational data with lenders/creditors.
- Board reporting – Give directors visibility into financials, strategy, and planning documents.
- IP licensing – Safely share protected IP like patented technologies or copyrighted works.
- Joint ventures – Partner with other companies to develop products, bid on contracts, etc.
- Franchise expansion – Share operational data with new franchisees.
- Executive recruiting – Give candidates visibility into financials, org structure, etc.
The risk of confidential data leaks applies across sectors. Orangedox helps dealmakers in many verticals share files securely and accelerate reviews.
How Orangedox Grew by Solving Key Customer Pain Points
Orangedox was launched in 2015 as a document-tracking tool. The platform enabled senders to see recipient activity like document opens, views, and downloads.
“We gave away our tracker to thousands of companies, including Fortune 500s,” recalls founder Chad Brown. “But when we tried charging for more features, people balked.”
This feedback revealed that file tracking alone didn’t solve a burning customer problem. But secure document sharing did.
As deals increasingly moved online, companies wanted technology to replicate the security of a physical data room. They needed to share confidential files externally without recipients forwarding docs to unauthorized parties.
So, in 2019, Chad rebuilt Orangedox as a virtual data room, integrating tight security controls into Google Drive and Dropbox.
The new platform took off, growing 2.5X in 2022 largely through word-of-mouth referrals. Chad credits listening to user pain points for the solution’s ultimate product-market fit.
“If you listen to your customers and provide good support, talking with them as people, I think you'll have a successful startup.”
Orangedox vs Legacy Virtual Data Rooms
Orangedox differs from traditional virtual data rooms (VDRs) in a few key ways:
Integration – Unlike other VDRs, Orangedox doesn’t store documents or require uploading files to its servers. Instead, it syncs directly with Google Drive or Dropbox folders. Any changes are automatically ported to the data room.
Affordability – Old-school VDRs charge $5,000 monthly for storage, support, and advanced features. Orangedox costs just $45/month, including support.
Ease of use – Recipients access Orangedox files directly from their browser without needing new logins or credentials. Other VDRs often impose hurdles that hamper user adoption.
By integrating controls into familiar tools like Google Drive, Orangedox removes friction from document sharing and due diligence. Anyone already using Drive can instantly benefit from Orangedox security with no learning curve.
What Does the Future Hold for Virtual Data Rooms?
The virtual data room market has seen little innovation recently, but Orangedox founder Chad Brown sees big changes ahead:
“I think you'll see a huge consolidation of VDR companies. Unless they tightly integrate with tools like Google Drive and Dropbox, they just won't survive.”
As more business communication becomes cloud-based, dealmakers want security embedded in the tools they use to create, store, and collaborate on documents. Legacy VDRs must pivot to this integration model or face extinction.
Chad also predicts wider VDR adoption beyond M&A deals as remote work makes secure external sharing more crucial. Contractors, vendors, partners, and customers all need access to confidential data, making purpose-built security a priority.
Finally, companies will demand seamless workflows between VDRs and downstream processes like eSignatures. Orangedox plans tools enable a one-click digital signature of contracts within its VDR.
As deals and documents increasingly move online, companies need simple yet robust protection. Orangedox sits at the intersection of this trend, helping dealmakers share files securely and accelerate the due diligence process.
Sharing confidential documents is unavoidable during business deals and fundraising initiatives. However, conventional sharing methods put sensitive data at risk of theft and unauthorized access.
Orangedox streamlines secure document exchange through deep integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox. Its affordable virtual data rooms help companies:
- Share files externally without recipients spreading docs downstream
- Track recipient activity to see who viewed what and when
- Speed up due diligence with easy access controls and document previews
- Brand data rooms professionally for enhanced credibility
By embedding protection in familiar tools teams use daily, Orangedox lets dealmakers share sensitive files without friction, leakage, or lackluster adoption.
To experience Orangedox, sign up for a free 14-day trial today.
Listen to our recent Software Spotlight podcast interviews with Chad Brown, serial entrepreneur and Founder of Orangedox, a secure file-sharing and team collaboration platform empowering businesses to work smarter through integrated tracking, access controls, and seamless Google Drive integration.
What types of documents do people typically store in Orangedox?
Orangedox customers often share sensitive documents like:
– Financial records – P&Ls, cap tables, financial models, etc.
– Operational data – Performance metrics, customer lists, growth plans
– Legal documents – Contracts, agreements, licenses, permits
– Product info – Spec sheets, user guides, roadmaps, IP
– Marketing collateral – Pitch decks, investor presentations
Any confidential business documents are fair game for Orangedox. It helps securely share anything meant for limited external access.
Does Orangedox work on mobile devices?
Yes, Orangedox offers mobile-friendly data rooms accessible on any smartphone or tablet. Recipients can easily review confidential documents on the go without installing any apps.
What happens when my Orangedox access expires?
By default, recipient access to Orangedox data rooms expires after 90 days. However, the admin can manually extend or revoke access at any time.
Once access expires, recipients can no longer view protected documents. But the files remain securely stored in your connected Google Drive or Dropbox account.
Can I migrate data from another virtual data room provider?
Absolutely. While Orangedox doesn’t host documents, it can sync with your existing cloud storage location. Many customers migrate from other VDRs to Orangedox through this method.
An Orangedox rep can guide you through the migration process. In most cases, it is simple, fast, and avoids duplicating massive data sets.
Does Orangedox offer custom integrations?
At this time, Orangedox focuses solely on tight Google Drive and Dropbox integrations. Other common business tools, like Office 365, Slack, Salesforce, etc, integrate natively with Drive and Dropbox.
So while Orangedox itself does not integrate directly with these third-party apps, you can access Orangedox seamlessly when using Google/Dropbox's ecosystem.