A data room is a virtual repository which helps in managing documents, interacting with them, and processing them. It utilizes an encrypted platform for this. It is used to aid startups in fundraising and due diligence. Generally, the information that is shared through a data room contains documents of the company's organization such as pitch decks financial information, people-related documents and market information. However, a startup should be wary of sharing proprietary information such as code or trade secrets via the data room to ensure security of the data.
Investors can find every document or item that is in the data room, however it should be clearly labeled and easy to allow them to locate specific items. It is also beneficial to separate the different information into different stages. For example, a stage 1, a data room can include things like strategies documents, pitch decks and product plans that give investors an overview of your business, while the stage 2 data room can contain more sensitive information such as legal agreements and HR related documents.
It's also a good idea to include any customer reference information within the data room. This could be a decisive factor for certain investors. This will spare investors the hassle of calling the customers since they can look up the notes in the data room. Similarly, it is worth adding any intellectual property information in the data room because this is an important area that VCs are seeking. This includes trademarks, trademark numbers and patent filings.