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An Overview of the M&A Technology Landscape

Supritha Shankar Rao
Product Marketing Specialist

This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for relevancy on May 13, 2024.

We all are aware of the complexities that are involved in a M&A transaction and often, M&A teams are handling multiple transactions at a time. So, it becomes even more necessary for acquisitive companies  to find ways to streamline their process and increase their deal efficiencies.

Luckily, there are many tools and software platforms that promise to do just that.  Unfortunately, not all are created equally and it’s important to understand the landscape in order to make the right technology buying decisions for your company.  This blog seeks to provide an overview of the M&A technology landscape so you can choose the best tools for your company's unique goals. 

What are M&A Software and Tools?

M&A software and tools are platforms used by professionals during an M&A transaction. This can include platforms that perform a variety of functions such as pipeline management, data storage, project management, track deals in real-time, and manage the overall M&A strategy.

Some M&A teams use different tools for different functionalities throughout a deal’s lifecycle, for example the corp dev team uses a virtual data room while the integration team uses a project management tool.  On the other hand, others save time and cost by using one software platform for everything.

Different Types of M&A Tools and Software

In this tech-savvy world, there are different types of tools and technologies an M&A team can leverage. Even though many of these tools only came into existence during the last decade, they are changing the way deals are organized and managed.  Here are a few M&A tools available to present day M&A professionals.

Let’s take a moment to walk through the different categories of tools and discuss pros and cons of each. 

1. Status Quo

“Status Quo” refers to a series of tools not purpose built for M&A but often used by teams.  Often, these teams are using traditional, siloed approaches to dealmaking that rely on tools like Excel for managing M&A pipeline and “tracking” the status of due diligence requests, all while communicating deal-specific information on Outlook, Gmail and storing documents in Sharepoint or drive. For example, once a document has been uploaded into drive, an individual will have to manually update the line item requestand mark it as complete in the Excel tracker.


The status quo approach in M&A transactions offers several advantages. Firstly, these tools are widely used across industries, making them familiar to team members and requiring minimal training for adoption. Additionally, many of these tools come at a little or no cost, which is beneficial for teams operating within financial constraints. Overall, the “Status Quo” approach provides ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and straightforward adoption.


Due to deal information being spread across multiple status quo tools, inefficiencies in deal management arise. There’s a constant risk of crucial details slipping through the cracks while managing diligence requests in Excel and storing corresponding documents in data rooms. The added complexity of not having a centralized platform to exchange deal-specific information or a simple way to request additional details in Excel can result in inefficient collaboration among stakeholders. This further compounds the already complex nature of M&A.

Drawing from their own experience, an M&A professional stated-

We continue to fall back to doing things a lot more manually. So a lot of excel, a lot of team calls. We have sharepoint now instead of drive and whatnot, but it's pretty complicated for a M&A process”.
M&A Excel Tracker

2. CRM

CRM systems are invaluable tools for managing deal-related data efficiently, offering a centralized platform for organizing crucial information. Popular CRM tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, and DealCloud are widely used by M&A professionals to streamline their pipeline management processes.


In M&A transactions, these systems serve as a repository for storing and organizing all pertinent deal information, enhancing collaboration and accessibility. Moreover, they offer automation capabilities, allowing teams to automate repetitive tasks and ultimately save time during deal execution.


However, while CRM systems offer numerous benefits, they're not without their challenges. Customizing CRM platforms to align with the unique requirements of each deal can be complex and time-consuming. Since no two deals are identical in an M&A transaction, extensive customization is often necessary, requiring the expertise of IT professionals or consultants. Integration challenges with other M&A tools and software platforms can also arise, potentially leading to data silos and inefficiencies in workflow management.

An experienced practitioner in Mergers and Acquisitions, formerly acquainted with CRM tools, remarked-

“Our CRM and pipeline tool, implemented over a decade ago, has essentially become obsolete. Despite occasional attempts to utilize it, it's proven ineffective. We often resort to manual methods due to its inefficiency. “

3. Financial Database

Financial databases, such as PitchBook, Grata,, SAP Capital IQ, and more serve as extensive repositories of financial information, offering detailed profiles of companies and market insights. 


M&A professionals can leverage these databases to conduct due diligence, assess valuation, identify potential targets, and gain a deeper understanding of market dynamics. They also provide access to a wealth of data, including financial statements, transaction history, industry benchmarks, and competitor analysis, enabling M&A professionals to make informed decisions and mitigate risks.


Despite their benefits, financial databases have limitations in the M&A process. While they excel in identifying and establishing a targeted pipeline for deal-marketing, they only support a small piece of the M&A deal lifecycle.  Therefore, you will need to manage other tools alongside a financial database.  This is to be expected but something to be mindful of when making other purchasing decisions.

As one user expressed, 

“PitchBook is imperfect just because I think it has a very outdated UI and… I use a mix of Microsoft one note to record information in real time. I can manage a pipeline just like a target list in PitchBook which is fine, but there's some issues with that too and it's not a very useful format for reporting.”

4. Project Management Tools

Project management tools like Clickup, Excel, Smartsheet, Wrike and others have been around for quite some time but have only recently been adopted by the M&A industry. Project management in M&A is not geared towards one specific aspect of a deal but towards a team’s overall workflows and processes. These tools help teams identify and create consistent and repeatable workflows that aim to optimize operational efficiency. 


These tools can enable everyone - internal or external stakeholders to organize their tasks, track progress, and allocate resources effectively. Moreover, these tools promote transparency and accountability, ensuring team members are aligned and informed about deal statuses and responsibilities.


Managing stakeholders throughout an M&A transaction is a critical task for sealing the deal. However, project management tools, while beneficial for overall workflow management, are not specifically tailored for M&A purposes. As a result, teams may find themselves juggling between different platforms for storing deal documents, managing requests, and utilizing project management tools. This fragmentation can lead to inefficiencies and potential communication gaps, as stakeholders may need to navigate multiple systems to stay informed about the deal's progress.

One of the M&A professionals using smartsheet for their pipeline management stated:

“It’s hard to make any updates on Smartsheets to our deal pipeline midway through the process. We have a couple of 100 companies on that list right now, and it's just hard when you want to add something in like a new column and it just messes everything up. And the analytics on it aren't useful, and we have to redo it from scratch every time you change something -it's not very intuitive."

5. Virtual Data Rooms

One of the most well known M&A tool types are virtual data rooms, also known as VDRs. VDRs have been around for almost two decades, and there are hundreds of VDR providers available like FirmRoom, DataSite, Share File, IntraLinks,, iDeals, Firmex, and more. 


They are best known for their ability to securely store confidential information that is collected and shared during the due diligence process. For example, with a virtual data room, investment banks can share critical information between buyers, sellers, and other third parties, while staying in control of who can see what. Most VDRs adhere to strict security standards set by FINRA and the SEC, so all information stored in a VDR is 100% secure. Typically, traditional VDRs are only used during due diligence and in correlation with Excel trackers. 


Although VDRs have been widely used in mergers and acquisitions for some time, they come with their own set of drawbacks. The abundance of deal-related documents stored within VDRs can make it difficult to determine which document corresponds to specific requests. Additionally, it may require manual efforts to send emails once each document is uploaded, leading to increased workload and organizational complexities. The VDRs only solves a small piece of the M&A lifecycle and following diligence teams have to move their documents out of a VDR or consistently reference them across platforms.

An M&A professional shared-

“Share File, acts as our central hub for deal documents and information. Storing documents alongside other prospect-related data and creates a cluttered and cumbersome workspace , making it challenging to navigate and locate specific information. SharePoint's lack of organization and cleanliness ultimately impacts our workflow and productivity.”

6. M&A Lifecycle Platform

M&A platforms are designed to be a one-stop-shop for M&A teams. An M&A platform combines the vast majority of features from the above tools (with the exception of financial databases), which in turn creates a platform designed to be used for an entire deal lifecycle. A few of the common M&A platforms include DealRoom, Midaxo, DevenSoft and DataSite.

While every different type of M&A tool provides different benefits, an M&A platform such as the DealRoom M&A Optimization Platform is the most advantageous. 

DealRoom is currently the only M&A platform that disrupts the disparate ways of traditional M&A processes & tools and provides a single source of truth for end-to-end M&A lifecycle management - from pipeline into due diligence and through post-merger integration. 

It helps teams to increase efficiency with automated workflows, alerts, permissions and project management abilities and eliminates mundane tasks. All while enabling M&A teams to realize synergies faster by synchronizing diligence and integration, ensuring  alignment between both teams early on so that when deals are closed, integration teams can deliver value faster. It also prevents teams from having to switch back and forth between multiple platforms just to manage one deal.

Not just that but DealRoom also provides custom templates and playbooks for the deal process which have preloaded diligence requests and tasks which can be tailored to your specific M&A needs. You can instantly create comprehensive dashboards for a strategic overview of all deal activities and schedule the delivery of these reports to your stakeholders. It helps to manage, organize, optimize and compare multiple deals in one centralized location. 

One of our DealRoom user - Ivan Golubic, CFO at FastLap stated- 

“Partnering with DealRoom changed the game for us. Now we can really plan and see where we're falling behind, where you're on track, and what are things that are missing. That's really hard to do without the right tools. Invest in the right tools, like DealRoom, and your deals will flow a lot quicker and a lot easier.”

Contact M&A Science to learn more

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