Use a Onehub Virtual Data Room to Maintain Bidder Anonymity

Onehub’s virtual data rooms make it simple to securely share sensitive information with multiple parties without them being aware of each other. Anonymity management allows you to solicit bids or investments in a controlled environment that’s optimized to support a profitable transaction for your business.

When is user anonymity important?

There are several instances where anonymity is key to successfully closing a deal. Below, we’ve highlighted just a few of the common use cases for virtual data rooms.

M&A auctions

An M&A auction allows a seller to probe the market for as many potential bidders as possible. This increases the chances that a company will find the perfect candidate for its merger or acquisition. The drawback is that the seller must share all of the company’s financial and proprietary information with each bidder. 

Onehub’s virtual data rooms enable a seller to collect all of the necessary information in one secure location and share it without revealing the identities of the other parties. This protects each bidder’s privacy while providing the access everyone needs to make decisions about their bids. 

Due Diligence

There’s no way to overstate the importance of due diligence, whether it’s for a simple property purchase or a complex business merger. Due diligence requires a massive amount of data to be collected and securely displayed for multiple interested parties. 

Until a few years ago, the due diligence process was paper-based and conducted in physical rooms. Thousands of pages of information had to be organized in a way that would make it simple for prospective buyers to review it. Data room access had to be carefully controlled and scheduled out so that the various interested parties retained their anonymity. 

With Onehub’s virtual data room, you can dramatically speed up the due diligence process without sacrificing the anonymity of potential buyers. The interested parties can access the data room from anywhere and at any time. Multiple people can be logged into the VDR simultaneously and never know anyone else is viewing the data. 

Property sales

Real estate firms and property owners often need to share property photos, building plans, contracts, tax documents, and many other files. Firms can use a virtual data room to house their data for multiple properties and customize access so potential buyers only see information for the properties they’re interested in. 

While in the data room, no user will be able to see the identities of anyone else or view what documents are being shared. Sellers are able to review the bids of several buyers and pick the best option, all without compromising any bidder’s anonymity. 

What happens if you don’t have bidder anonymity?

  • Potential for lower bid or sale price. If multiple bidders are aware of each other’s identities, they can organize against your company’s interests to control the sale price. 
  • Negatively impact the bidder’s financial interests. For example, if word gets out that Company A is bidding to merge with Company B, it could negatively impact Company A’s stock prices and investor interest. Potential buyers need to stay anonymous to protect their business interests. 

It’s important to keep identities confidential in a VDR to ensure you get the best price for your M&A, property sale, or other transaction. You will also attract more bidders and investors if you can protect their interests by guaranteeing anonymity. 

Onehub’s anonymity management enables you to keep virtual data room users anonymous and hidden from each other. This allows you to conduct due diligence, M&As, real estate sales, and many other transactions with complete privacy. 

Additional VDR features for Onehub users

Anonymity management is an important part of conducting sensitive transactions successfully. Onehub also offers many other essential features to ensure your data room has the highest level of security while still being simple to use. 

User-based roles and permissions

Onehub gives you strict control over what people can see and do in your data room, ensuring that your sensitive data is used only in the ways you approve. To keep your confidential information from being shared, you can prevent document details from being copied and pasted, or you can keep files from being printed or downloaded. 

This means your information can only be viewed while logged into the data room. It keeps unauthorized users from accessing sensitive information from printed files left on someone’s desk or hackers stealing files downloaded onto a vulnerable network. 

NDAs

With Onehub’s virtual data rooms, you can require all users to accept a customized nondisclosure agreement before accessing anything in the data room. This ensures that there’s a legally binding NDA for everyone who views your financial, proprietary, or other sensitive information.

Watermarking

If you allow users to print or download data room content, document watermarks can help keep that information safe. A watermarked file will have “CONFIDENTIAL” diagonally across the entire document along with the IP or email address of the person who printed or downloaded it. Associating the user with the specific file copy means you can trace the source of any leaked information.

Audit trails

Audit trails allow you to view every action by every user in the data room. This provides another level of security and also gives VDR administrators valuable insight into what data is most important to each user. 

With this insight, you can improve your pitch to a bidder or investor. Suppose you see a potential investor has repeatedly viewed a less-than-stellar quarterly financial report. You know the report is an area of concern and can proactively address it. 

Automatic indexing

It’s not uncommon for VDRs to house thousands of files and folders that users need to easily sift through. To help with this, Onehub provides automatic indexing of files and folders so they can be quickly and easily referenced. Organized information is essential to successfully closing deals, so this deceptively simple feature has a big impact. It can speed up the due diligence process and keep bidders from becoming overwhelmed or frustrated and withdrawing their bids. 

Are you looking for a secure, easy-to-use data room solution for an upcoming deal? Sign up today for a free 14-day trial to find out how Onehub can make the process seamless.

6 Tips to Set Up a Successful Virtual Data Room

What is a virtual data room?

A virtual data room is an extremely secure digital space for storing and sharing high-value business files. Data rooms work much like a traditional Onehub Workspace but with even stronger security protocols and more advanced features such as document watermarking, stealth users, automatic indexing, and NDAs.

These features make data rooms the perfect solution for transactions that require top-level confidentiality. VDRs are commonly used for M&A due diligence, series funding, and legal proceedings. Using Onehub’s virtual data room keeps all users anonymous and hidden from each other to maintain privacy and security during these sensitive transactions. 

Setting your VDR up for success

  1. Add your company branding

Branding your virtual data room makes your business look more professional. You can simply add your company logo and colors, or you can choose a white-label VDR. Our white label option allows you to remove all Onehub branding and create a custom domain. 

  1. Customize your settings

Virtual data rooms come with many advanced settings that you can customize to fit your specific use case. Below are a few features and their benefits to consider as you customize your VDR. 

Watermarking

Automatic watermarking helps protect proprietary data or other sensitive information by linking the file with the person who accessed it. When activated, all previewed, printed, or downloaded files will have the user’s email or IP address and the word “CONFIDENTIAL” watermarked diagonally across the page. The watermark can’t be removed or edited. Administrators will still be able to print the original version of the file without a watermark. 

Non-disclosure agreements

You can require all users to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to access the data room. The NDA is entirely customizable to provide maximum flexibility.  The agreement will appear the first time a user enters the workspace. If they accept the NDA, it will be recorded in the activity log. If they reject the agreement, they will not be able to use the virtual data room. 

Two-factor authentication

You have the option to add an additional layer of protection to your data room by enforcing two-factor authentication. To access the data room when 2FA is enforced, users enter their login credentials and are then prompted for a second authentication factor such as a security code sent to their phones. This means if a hacker steals a user’s credentials, they still won’t be able to access your data room.

Stealth mode

Some transactions benefit from anonymity. With stealth mode, you can keep users’ identities private and their activity hidden from each other while still having access to everything they need in the data room. 

Session timeouts

Create customizable session timeouts to help further secure your data room. You can automatically log users out after a set period of inactivity. This ensures that no unauthorized person can take advantage of a user’s account because they forgot to log out. 

  1. Make a list of all the documents that need to be uploaded to the VDR

Virtual data rooms are most often used for sensitive transactions such as series funding or M&As. It’s important to present your company in a professional manner to ensure you’re able to land the deal successfully. You can put your company’s best foot forward by ensuring all necessary files are available in the data room as soon as it’s live. 

Your list will vary depending on the type of transaction you’re working on. As an example, a due diligence list would include documentation such as business licenses, shareholder information, tax documents, and a list of suppliers. For each item on the list, you’ll need to locate all the corresponding files from your current storage location so you can upload them to the VDR.  

Organizing this information beforehand means you can account for everything easily. You don’t want to risk leaving out a key piece of information that may compromise your deal. 

  1. Pick your file upload method

Onehub offers two main ways to transfer your files to your data room. The first method is a drag-and-drop feature that’s easy to use and allows you to move over multiple files or entire folders at a time. The second option is to upload your files using FTP. This is the best route if your files are extremely large or you want to move entire directories at once. 

  1. Determine the access level of your files and folders

With Onehub’s detailed options for roles and permission, you can customize access to every file and folder. You have complete control over which users are able to view, print, download, or copy certain files. Permission levels can be granted or revoked at any time with a single click.

  1. Double check everything before going live

Do a final review of your data room’s content and settings before you begin inviting users. Here is a checklist to help you make sure you’ve reviewed all the important aspects of your data room:

  • Data room custom branded
  • All documentation uploaded
  • Watermarking enabled
  • Session time-outs enabled
  • Two-factor authentication enforced
  • NDA customized and activated
  • Stealth mode enabled
  • Permission levels set

Once you’ve completed your VDR review, you’re all set! You can start inviting users to join the data room and kick off the next phase of your project.

You can try out Onehub’s virtual data rooms for free for 14 days. No strings attached. See our advanced features and security protocols in action, so you can decide if Onehub is right for your business.