Digital River

Combining best-of-breed solutions to meet complex shopper demands




Digital River, a leading provider of global ecommerce and payment solutions, has been transforming Minnesota’s tech industry and the global ecommerce market for more than two decades. As the company reaches its 25th anniversary, Digital River is celebrating by reflecting on how it has grown to become a worldwide solutions provider for leading enterprise brands, processing more than $3 billion in annual transactions, including 50 million annual orders, for companies around the globe.

Digital River was founded in 1994 with the goal of bringing software providers the ability to sell their products online through downloads—disrupting transactions that required consumers to shop at brick and mortar stores. Software companies were quick to sign on because all they had to do was add a purchase button to their sites and suddenly they were selling direct to consumers while Digital River provided all the back-end support, including a unique Merchant and Seller of Record business model that exists to this day.

Digital River’s Chief Product Officer, James Gagliardi, has been with the company since its early days. He recalls the company’s true startup mentality where the speed of innovation occasionally collided with the realities of a fast-growing organization, which sometimes resulted in having to create ad-hoc solutions just to keep up. “Our space was so small,  all of our servers were stacked up in what used to be a supply closet,” remembers Gagliardi. “One Monday we came in and realized not a single order had processed. We couldn’t believe it, so we investigated and discovered someone cleaning Friday night had accidentally unplugged the power. You better believe we found a safeguard to prevent that from ever happening again.”

Digital River has stayed true to its mission of enabling ecommerce for the past 25 years, while still evolving its business strategy to meet new  demands, including moving its data center infrastructure to the public cloud, ensuring high-availability and cutting-edge performance for clients.

To continue offering sellers better service and the agility to compete in  the constantly changing ecommerce world, Digital River modularized its products in 2019, breaking down its full technology stack. The company is now aligned with strategic partners to offer API and microservices based solutions, allowing brands to accelerate expansion into new markets around the world. Digital River remains laser focused on its core offerings of payments and risk protection, order management, and commerce  services, enabling brands to combine best-of-breed solutions to meet complex shopper demands.

This has been a big change that is causing many in Minnesota to take note. Following the pivot, the company was profiled in the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal where Adam Coyle, Digital River’s CEO, reflected on his first year at the company and how now Digital River is “almost fundamentally a different company” from when he joined in July 2018.

With customers all around the world, the Minneapolis-based company has mastered the ins and outs of global ecommerce. Digital River’s Onshore Advantage™ allows companies to conduct sales in 244 countries and territories, supporting local languages, local currencies, as well as local acquirers and localized payment methods. At the same time, Digital River works behind the scenes to process payments, mitigate fraud, and handle all taxes and compliance, as well as manage orders and fulfillment.

Digital River puts Minnesota on the map for global online retailers. With approximately 60 patents granted, Digital River continues to break through with new ideas and innovations. Digital River currently employs more than 450 people at its Minneapolis headquarters and 1,400 worldwide. Additionally, the company nurtures a culture that is both hard-working and balanced. Weekly social hours and bring-your-dog-to work days have been company perks since the beginning, along with an unlimited vacation policy, paid parental leave, and community volunteer opportunities on company time.

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