March 23, 2020

Datasite Projects Grow Through COVID-19 Crisis with New Use Cases

Datasite, the US provider of M&A SaaS tools formerly known as Merrill Corp, is seeing growth in new projects as its users adapt to the coronavirus crisis, CEO Rusty Wiley said.

Although there are few new deals being announced, the company’s users are discovering different use cases for its virtual dataroom (VDR) solutions, Wiley said.

These use cases include restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings for distressed situations and remote communications to shareholders and debtholders in a time of crisis, the executive said.

The Minnesota-based company has 225,000 unique users per year, Wiley said. They include corporates, private equity (PE) firms and advisors. Those who have gained experience with the tool on deals can easily adapt to new use cases as the cycle turns, he said.

The number of new projects on the site was up 8% in January on the same period last year, up 13% for February, and up 3% for this month up to 21 March, a spokesperson said.

The company's VDR, now called Datasite Diligence, allows M&A professionals to set up a data room, load and redact documents and onboard users, according to its website. Features include managing permissions, searching in multiple languages, integrated Q&A sessions and analytics.

While working from home will hurt the productivity of M&A professionals, Datasite’s VDR can work alongside video conference solutions to mitigate some of the difficulties, Wiley said. The company will look into embedding video content onto its site in the future, he said.

Earlier today (Tuesday), Merrill Corp announced a corporate rebrand to Datasite. This is the culmination of a five-year process to build a fully digital business, Wiley said.

In October 2019, Merrill Corp's Chief Product Officer Thomas Fredell told M&ATech that the company was going to launch a new tool to help advisers send teasers. This product, previously called DatasiteOne Marketing, has changed its name to Datasite Outreach.

The company was founded in 1968. Datasite employs more than 750 individuals in 25 locations across 13 countries.

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