New Context

New Context

Context Timeline


Opened Japan's First Personal Home Page "TOMIGAYA"

In 1993, Intercom, an American provider, asked Joichi Ito, founder of Digital Garage, to test the Internet connection in Japan and store the necessary equipment. A dedicated Internet connection was then installed at Ito’s home, and the first Japanese homepage, “Tomigaya/TOMIGAYA,” was born. This news spread through the technical community, and requests came in from advertising agencies, computer-related companies, and others who wanted to create their own homepages. This was the beginning of the company’s work in website production and Internet-based promotion.

Events in 1993
  • Commercial Use of the Internet in Japan Permitted, ISP Businesses Can Be Implemented.
  • Version 1.0 of HTML submitted as Internet Draft


Digital Garage was Established

On August 17, Digital Garage was established, retaining the word “garage” in the company name to remember the venture spirit that founded the company in a garage.
The encounter and unexpected interaction of things with things, and the stories that are spun out from these encounters. It is this kind of context that creates more intrinsic value and meaning in business. Digital Garage was started with the idea of becoming “a company that creates ‘context’ for the Internet age,” based on the question.

Events in 1995
  • Internet Explorer and the birth of dial-up connection services
  • Windows 95 is launched in Japan.


Begins Operation of "Infoseek Japan" Robotic Search Service.

At the time, Yahoo! Search was a “directory-type” search, in which information on websites was manually collected and indexed by humans. On the other hand, Japan’s first robot-based search, developed by Infoseek, used software called a spider to patrol the Internet and automatically create a database of websites. It attracted worldwide attention because it could find more websites more quickly than manual searching. Today, most major search engines, such as Google, have this system in place.

Events in 1996
  • Started Yahoo! Japan service.
  • NEC launched BIGLOBE.
  • Internet 1996 World Exposition held.


System Development for Japan's First Online CD store, Tower Records

Rakuten Ichiba was about to launch its service in Japan and EC was about to begin in earnest. When Amazon had not yet entered the Japanese market, we formed a business alliance with Tower Records and opened our official website. We built a system that allowed customers to complete their entire shopping experience on the web, from searching the CD database with approximately 150,000 titles to ordering and credit card payment, and launched the first online CD store in Japan.

Events in 1997
  • Google's search engine is available.
  • goo, ODN, DION, and Exite Japan services launched.
  • Liberalization of international Internet telephone service provision.


Launched WebNation, Japan's First Logistics Payment EC site.

When NTT DoCoMo launched its “i-mode” service, which allowed users to access the Internet via cell phones, Digital Garage partnered with Lilac Trading, a music site distributor, and Yamato Transport to launch a shopping site offering approximately 300,000 CD, video, and DVD titles for sale. The entire process, including payment by credit card, display of inventory status, designation of delivery date and time, and confirmation of delivery status, could be completed entirely on the Web.

Events in 1999
  • Population penetration of the Internet in Japan 21.4.
  • ADSL was available.
  • Launched Internet access service for cell phones.


Listed on the Stock Exchange of Digital Garage.

The means of Internet communication has begun to change from traditional analog narrowband and ISDN to ADSL. In the IT industry, companies were aggressively investing in IT to become “21st century global companies,” and the government was supporting this as a national policy, but the Internet market was becoming increasingly selective. The government was supporting this national policy, while the Internet market tended to be more selective.
Under these circumstances, we listed our stock on the OTC market on December 14, the last year of the 20th century.

Japan's First Convenience Store Payment and Pickup

With the rapid expansion and growth of the e-commerce market, we saw advertising and payment as key to the Internet business. Therefore, in 2000, we partnered with Lawson and launched Japan’s first e-commerce payment and product pickup platform utilizing convenience stores. We then built a system that allows customers to pick up their orders at designated convenience stores 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is also a pioneer of O2O (Online to Offline), which encourages customers to visit physical stores from websites.

Events in 2000
  • Google launches Japanese-language search service.
  •" launches service in Japan.
  • Japan's first online bank, Japan Net Bank, opens for business.

2002 Becomes a Consolidated Subsidiary., which operates “” and “Tabelog,” is a large-scale website that attracts a large number of users. We began investing in and nurturing its business in 2002. In 2003, was listed on the Mothers market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (at that time).
Digital Garage and have created various business synergies, including the establishment of DG Lab, an open innovation R&D organization, DX promotion in the restaurant industry, and next-generation e-commerce business.

Events in 2002
  • The Provider Liability Limitation Act and the Act on the Proper Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail come into effect.


Supported Twitter (now X) to Expand into Japan

In 2004, mixi was born, and in 2008, Facebook entered the Japanese market. The launch of the iPhone in Japan also provided a tailwind, and social media rapidly penetrated into people’s lives, giving birth to new forms of communication.
We saw the potential of Twitter and began supporting Twitter’s expansion in Japan in 2008, helping Twitter spread, acquire users, and expand business in Japan through the development of a Japanese version of Twitter, operational support, and the introduction of banner advertising. Until 2011, Digital Garage took over the main operations of Twitter in Japan.

Events in 2008
  • Apple Launches App Store
  • iPhone goes on sale in Japan
  • Facebook and Twitter launch Japanese-language services
  • Fiber-optic Subscriptions Reversed ADSL in Japan


Japan's first accelerator program, Open Network Lab, established.

While world-class startups were emerging one after another in Silicon Valley in the U.S., entrepreneurship by the younger generation in Japan was still limited. We wondered if we could create a foundation to create new businesses through trial and error in Japan, and launched Japan’s first accelerator program, Open Network Lab (ONLAB). Onlab has held more than 30 three-month programs aimed at “nurturing startups that go global. Several Onlab graduates have gone public, including Gifty, and some have grown into unicorns, such as SmartHR.

Events in 2010
  • World's first IDN TLD registered in the root zone.
  • Evernote Establishes Japanese Subsidiary.
  • NTT DOCOMO launches "Xi", the first LTE service in Japan.


Became One of the Largest Payment Platforms in Japan.

We have been involved in payment services since the e-commerce market was launched in Japan. In 2012, VeriTrans (now DG Financial Technology), a leading company in the online payment industry, joined our company to expand our payment services business, which is the foundation of our business. We added a new pillar of comprehensive payment services, including credit card payment services, to our payment services business, which is strong in convenience store and bank payment services, and we have gained a position as one of the largest payment platform providers in Japan.

Events in 2012
  • Amazon Opens Kindle Store for Japan
  • Microsoft Corporation launches Windows 8.
  • Japan Ratifies Cybercrime Convention


Incubation center "DG717" established

Openly accepting entrepreneurial participation from around the world. In this spirit, the company opened an incubation center, DG717, along Market Street in San Francisco, U.S.A., as a support facility for entrepreneurs connecting Japan and the U.S. “The addition of an international component will accelerate technological innovation in our region. The addition of an international component will help accelerate technological innovation in the region. San Francisco celebrates Digital Garage Day today (November 4). said then San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at the commencement celebration.

Events in 2013
  • Population penetration of the Internet in Japan 82.8
  • The flea market application "Mercari" launches its service.
  • Email and Internet access now available on Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway.


Launched DG Lab, an R&D Organization.

We have established our own research and development organization to foster services based on payments and advertising, each using cutting-edge technologies. DG Lab” has strengths in blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), and advocates open innovation practices and a place for research and verification. In 2022, we will newly establish the “Digital Architecture Lab (DA Lab),” which will conduct research and development focusing on web3 and AI. Through collaboration with industry, government, academia, startups, and major companies, as well as by building a community, we aim to foster social impact.

Events in 2016
  • Google's AlphaGo Defeats Top Professional Go Player
  • Pokemon Go released in Japan
  • Mass closures of major curation sites announced.


Certified as the first FinTech Sandbox project.

In 2019, Crypto Garage Inc. (a group company of Digital Garage), a blockchain financial services company in the fintech sector, received the first certification in the blockchain and financial sector under the Regulatory Sandbox System (a demonstration program for new technologies). (a Digital Garage Group company), which is developing a blockchain financial services business in the fintech sector, became the first company to be certified in the blockchain and financial sectors under the regulatory sandbox system (new technology demonstration system). The following year, the company launched a commercial service called SETTLENET, a payment platform specialized for the large-lot OTC market for crypto assets.

Events in 2019
  • JAPAN" and "LINE" announced business integration.
  • World's first smartphone-enabled 5G service is now available in many countries.
  • PayPay service launched.
  • Facebook Announces Its Own Virtual Currency.


Established "Content Media Consortium" with 28 leading media companies*.

We have launched a joint advertising platform business providing Internet advertising in cooperation with 28 (now 30) leading media companies. This business was created to maximize the inherent value of advertising while protecting personal information and resolving issues such as fraudulent advertising and the risk of brand image damage in digital advertising. It is an innovative, industry-leading move that brought together Dentsu, Hakuhodo, ADK, and other companies with whom we compete in business.

* At the time of its founding

Events in 2020
  • Great Britain leaves the European Union.
  • Dentsu Announces Japan's Internet Advertising Spending Exceeds Television.
  • Carriers Launch 5G Services in Japan.


DG FinTech Shift" Group strategy that integrates payments and data is in full swing.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has announced that it aims to raise the cashless payment ratio from over 30% as of 2021 to around 40% by 2025, and in the future to 80%, the highest level in the world. In addition, the introduction of embedded finance has begun to attract attention as it is expected to provide better financial services and promote financial DX. Digital Garage has begun to promote the strengthening of the payment domain and the creation of fintech services as a unified group under the group strategy “DG FinTech Shift,” which is centered on one of the largest payment platforms in Japan.

Events in 2021
  • Yahoo and LINE integrate their operations.
  • Microsoft Launched Windows 365.
  • Inauguration of Digital Agency,
  • Official i-mode site closed.


Since its establishment, Digital Garage has continued to provide advanced digital solutions, responding flexibly and quickly to changing eras and technologies. Our progress so far is a testimony to our boldness in confronting the unknown possibilities of digital. We will continue to take a leadership role in the changing digital scene and design new contexts.