So, What is an M&A Software Tool?
An M&A software is a platform designed to help manage M&A processes and workflows. M&A software tools typically include features for each part of a deal’s lifecycle including pipeline, diligence, and integration management.
The Best M&A Software Companies Overview
As stated above, there are many different M&A software providers out there. Some of them approach M&A in a traditional way, such as Intralinks and Merrill. Others, like DealRoom and FirmRoom, aim to modernize the way M&A platform is used. There is also a variety of ways M&A software charges customers, such as per page, monthly subscription, and flat-rate. Each one includes different offerings within their standard pricing.
Here is a list of well known M&A software providers:
M&A Software Solutions Overview
Quality M&A software provides customers with ways to improve their processes, whether that be through innovative features, easily accessible training and customer support, or fair pricing. The M&A process goes far beyond document storage and so should your M&A software provider. All M&A software providers should provide document, project, diligence, integration, and pipeline management.
A collaborative M&A platform that combines diligence, pipeline, and integration management with a traditional virtual data room.
A FinTech platform for secure document sharing and collaboration.
The leading end-to-end cloud platform for the alternatives ecosystem
A complete and secure cloud-based M&A software for corporate development and integration teams used by top companies around the world.
For corporate clients, EKNOW provides M&A Tools as a web-based, secure software-as-a-service.
Merrill DatasiteOne is an efficient and highly secure virtual data storage system and sharing platform.
What features are specific to M&A software tools?
List of features that have M&A software but does not have simple VDRs
Virtual Data Room and Due Diligence Management
Teams can safely upload, store, and share documents and files. They can also benefit from features such as bulk upload, built-in document view, smart search, and drag-and-drop.
Project leaders can manage all internal and external tasks using M&A software. M&A deal management software
makes it easy to set priorities, due dates, task roles, add attachments, and more.
When M&A software, users can track integration work streams and analytics, as well as plan for integration alongside due diligence using labels and dependencies.
Deal teams are able to access and manage all their deals on one deal flow software platform
. Pipelines give users a way to quickly see the overview and status of each deal they are working on.
Where M&A software platform is used
M&A Software is used across a wide variety of industries:
Initial document collection, due diligence, integration management, third party access, pipeline management
Initial document collection, due diligence, M&A pipeline management, and strategic decision making, internal team management
Fund reporting, investor portals, data storage, and investor and client communication
M&A, litigation, public finance, legal extranet, and procurement
Property exchange, an appraisal, facilitating a sale or purchase, and advisory services
Project development, venture management, environmental audit, and coordinating investment opportunities
Oil and Gas
Fundraising, environmental audits, communication with regulators, and joint ventures
Biotech and Pharmaceuticals
Fundraising, licensing, biotech, pharmaceutical, and clinical research diligence
M&A software benefits
Advanced M&A software can provide many benefits to your overall M&A process. Not only can M&A platform meet all your basic software needs, it can also streamline complicated workflows, speed up diligence, and enable real time collaboration.
Turn your inefficient process into a well organized procedure. Complete all investigation workflow, communication, and document management in one secure software, instead of across multiple software platforms with disconnected processes.
Secure Document Storage
Benefit from secure document storage including strict ID protocol, customizable allowances, two-factor authentication, data siloing in private cloud servers, encrypted data, and more.
Access analytics to make more informed deal decisions. Discover engagement buyers, which users viewed what documents and how often with advanced analytics.
Updates in Real Time
Stay current on room activity with real time updates. Because due diligence can go through the room, users no longer have to pass an Excel tracker back and forth and worry about version control.
Start a request comment thread, and if needed, approve comments before they are visible. Users can also tag and mention other users in the comments section and the tagged user will automatically be added as a request follower.
Export all analytics, activity, and data charts to a PDF or Excel with one click. The complete audit log can also be exported to Excel.
Choose from four levels of file permissions including view with a watermark, download with a watermark, download original, and edit. Permissions are set on a group level and can be adjusted by admins at any time.
Assign key roles such as assignee, follower, and reviewer, to members of your team. You can also set due dates, priorities, and statuses for each request.
How to choose the right M&A software
The current M&A software market is overflowing with vendors, making the process of selecting the right M&A software for your team no easy task. When selecting M&A software, practitioners will need to consider the following:
Obviously, each stage of mergers and acquisitions involves highly confidential documents so security should be at the top of every M&A software shopper’s list. M&A software should leverage the best security features, such as two factor authentication, digital watermarking, and robust encryption methods.
Ease of use
Software should enhance M&A practices — it should not provide more work for the practitioners; therefore, intuitive platforms are a must.
Tools your teams can (and will) leverage to improve their practices
Following a close examination of the above categories, the buyer should also:
Read reviews of the software
See what other practitioners have to say about the software. You can begin by searching “Provider name + Reviews” in Google. Be aware of fake reviews (poor grammar and spelling and only 5 star reviews). More on how to spot fake reviews.
Test the software via a free trial
Most software providers provide potential buyers with a free trial. This is the best way to see if the product is intuitive and truly has features to fit a company’s individual needs.
Talk to the vendor’s support staff
Reaching out to the support staff will provide insight into how potential problems will be handled. Consider the timeliness of the vendor’s responses, as well as the quality of their responses.
Categories of M&A software tools
The following are the basic categories M&A software tools can be broken into:
Virtual Data Rooms and Document Management Systems (M&A Data)
VDRs and document management systems allow for secure document storage in an encrypted cloud-based hosting service. Additionally, they make sharing documents between stakeholders easy, especially in the early stages of M&A, thus increasing collaboration. These document management systems and VDRs are widely used by M&A practitioners; however, some offer little beyond secure document storage and sharing, which ultimately will not transform a company’s M&A practices.
Deal Pipeline/Portfolio Trackers
This type of software is often used by investment bankers and private equity firms to build target lists, track the market and M&A trends, and monitor multiple deals in various stages.
Post Merger Integration (PMI) Software
Post merger integration software aids the integration of two companies post closing. Similar to VDRs, this software is used by many M&A practitioners, but, again, it has a limited scope and can really only be leveraged for integration.
Project Management Platforms
Project management platforms help M&A practitioners manage complex transactions, such as due diligence and integration. The best of these platforms leverage features that allow teams to work more efficiently by increasing transparency, eliminating redundant tasks, and reducing distractions. Furthermore, many M&A project management platforms are combined with VDRs, making them the best software choice for M&A.
How much M&A software can cost
Avoiding surprise costs throughout a deal can eliminate stress and keep the focus on making the best decisions regarding the deal, rather than making decisions based on software price. Specifically, when shopping for a VDR, flat-rate pricing is key. Flat-rate VDRs usually range from $500-$1,000 a month.
Why it is important to use M&A software during M&A integration process
The M&A software market is heavily populated with vendors for a reason: the right technology can help facilitate deals from both the buyer’s and seller’s perspectives. Namely, collaboration increases with the secure sharing of critical information, and project management platforms can aid successful integration. For example, the strongest M&A software platforms allow the tagging of items during diligence for integration. In fact, placing value around integration early in the M&A process is one of the most common post-merger success factors. In addition, since the best integration practices call for integration goals to continually be re-evaluated by teams (which are aligned by cross functional goals), the transparency that stems from M&A software is essential - teams and team members cannot be working in silos during integration.