Great potential for sustainable elevators


With a business model based on a circular economy, the elevator company Hydroware is investing in international expansion in Europe. The goal is to double sales to SEK 1 billion over the next few years with the support of the company’s majority owner, CapMan Buyout.


With a business model based on a circular economy, the elevator company Hydroware is investing in international expansion in Europe. The goal is to double sales to SEK 1 billion over the next few years with the support of the company’s majority owner, CapMan Buyout.

Hydroware is the market leader in the Nordic region within modernisation of hydraulic elevators. In partnership with CapMan Buyout, which has been the majority shareholder since summer 2022, the company is now concentrating on increasing sales in the large, and growing, market for modernisation of traction elevators, focusing on key markets such as Germany and the UK.

“Over the next three years, we’ll accelerate our growth rate and grow in Europe, where there’s enormous potential for Hydroware’s solutions when it comes to upgrading elevators with the focus on sustainability. Modernisation of traction elevators is the driving force in this development. It’s an exciting journey and CapMan is the perfect partner for us in this situation, in both financial and strategic terms,” says Per Elgborn, the Hydroware CEO.

From a European perspective, modernisation is the segment within the elevator market which is expected grow the fastest over the next few years. This growth is largely driven by an aging installed base of elevators and greater focus on sustainability.

Sustainable lifts with a circular economy

The vision of “Moving people into a sustainable future” has clear links to the company’s history and at the same time points to the future. Hydroware was a pioneer in the industry with regard to circular economy, which today forms an integral part of the business. Since the company was founded, Hydroware has focused on modernisation of elevators which aims to preserve as much as possible of the material and economic values during the elevator’s lifecycle. The starting point is that an elevator should have the same lifespan as the property. An older elevator shouldn’t be replaced – it should be modernised. It makes for good, sustainable business.


The starting point is that an elevator should have the same lifespan as the property.


“Modernisation accounts for 90 per cent of the company’s sales. Instead of completely replacing the elevator three times over the lifespan of a building, we renovate and modernise the elevator. However, we retain the robust basic framework that can last for generations. Replacing that is just a waste of resources. With a new control and drive system, new wear parts and upgraded interiors, the elevator will be as good as new – or better.”

Regular modernisation of an elevator can lead to around a 50 per cent lower environmental impact over its lifetime compared to complete replacement. The costs are halved, installation is faster and servicing is made more accessible. Refurbishing and updating an elevator reduces downtime by several weeks. Hydroware is also continually developing its products to ensure that they are efficient, save energy and have a lower impact on the environment. For example, the HydroElite VIDI model can reduce both energy and power consumption by up to 70 per cent compared to an older system or a conventional system.

Hydroware is at the leading edge when it comes to sustainability in the elevator industry. The environmental impact during manufacture is usually greater than the impact during operation. That is why it is important to bear circularity in mind when an elevator starts to age. A complete replacement often results in an elevator that has been subject to price pressure with a weaker framework that is rarely strong enough to be modernised. Instead, the elevator owner is forced to replace it completely after 20 to 25 years.

“I’m glad we were an early adopter of a circular mindset. Today, sustainability comes naturally and forms part of the business. The elevator is an important part of a building when it comes to energy consumption and negative environmental impact. It feels good to be able to offer sustainable solutions with a greener profile.”

Fruitful partnership

Hydroware’s position as a market leader in elevator modernisation, the company’s clear sustainability profile, strong value proposition and updated product portfolio, along with CapMan’s strong track record of supporting growth companies and contributing to international expansion, create a solid basis for the company’s continued strong development.

“Hydroware is an excellent example of growth company. The company has a strong track record of profitable growth and we see further potential in its existing markets, primarily outside the Nordic region, and particularly in the market for traction elevators,” says Daniel Nejman, Investment Director at CapMan Buyout.

It is a rewarding partnership that takes various forms.

“We collaborate with CapMan through the Board of Directors and in a range of different cooperation groups. Not only when it comes to financial development and international growth, but also on aspects such as sustainability, gender equality, culture and leadership. We’re taking advantage of that now when we’re changing up a gear. It’s also rewarding to work with the people at CapMan on a purely personal level,” says Per Elgborn.

In line with CapMan’s strategy and values

Sustainability is a particular area of focus for CapMan, which contributes know-how and drives the development of the companies it invests in. For example, it may be a question of developing business models with smart solutions that reduce adverse environmental effects, improve energy efficiency or introduce new technology. Hydroware is a good example of how it is possible to generate shareholder value while at the same time having a positive impact on the environment, since modernisation gives rise to a lower environmental footprint than full replacement of an elevator.

“Nowadays, sustainability is a key component in order to generate long-term shareholder value. In all investments we make there must be initiatives which aim to reduce the companies’ climate footprint. This is how we contribute to the path towards net zero emissions,” says Daniel Nejman.

Hydroware’s ideas on circular economy and sustainability are fully in line with CapMan’s values.

“Hydroware has been a pioneer within circularity in the elevator industry and the company was founded on the idea of reusing as much of the elevator as possible. Sustainability is of utmost importance to us at CapMan and we are therefore proud to support a company that has real and positive impact on improving the climate and the environment.”

Personal commitment

When it comes to environmental impact and sustainability, it is easy to get caught up in transport, industry and manufacturing, but Hydroware is an example of how improvements can also be made in everyday life.

“The elevator is somewhat anonymous, but still forms an important part of all our lives. I’m passionate about the way Hydroware generates lasting value for both people and the environment. It’s something I want to take with me into Europe,” says Per Elgborn.

For the company’s CEO, management team and employees, “circular economy” is more than just a trendy expression that is currently in vogue. It forms an integral part of the business model. The personal commitment is genuine and has grown stronger and stronger over the years. It permeates the entire organisation and strengthens the company’s ability to expand in Europe.


Hydroware was founded in Alvesta in 1998 through an MBO from Schindler, where the company’s founder was at the leading edge when it came to modernisation of hydraulic elevators and focus on the circular economy. Hydroware develops, manufactures and sells high-tech control and drive systems for modernisation of traction and hydraulic elevators. The company’s customers are installation and service companies as well as large multinational elevator companies. Hydroware has around 180 employees in Sweden, the UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands and its headquarters is in Alvesta, Sweden. More than half of the company’s sales is from export. The company’s sales are expected to amount to SEK 500 million in 2023. The goal is to double sales to SEK 1 billion over the next few years.


  • A circular business model with personal commitment from the start of 1998.
  • Modernisation results in lower energy consumption, a lower environmental impact and a longer lifespan.
  • A corporate culture that is open to experimentation, innovation and product development, focusing on sustainability and climate impact.

CapMan Buyout

  • Invests in unlisted companies in the Nordic region.
  • Since it was founded thirty years ago, the company has invested in around 90 Nordic companies, of which around 80 have achieved exit.