The circadian rhythm prepares the human body for the changes expected throughout the day. When interrupted, sleep problems occur. Amber Leong has created a solution to this problem with a light therapy lamp called Circadian Optics. She pitched it on Shark Tank and made a deal with Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban. As of 2022, Circadian Optics is worth around $7 million.
About the Founder
Amber Leong is from Malaysia, her parents spent $10,000 of their retirement money to bring her to the United States. She settled in Bemidji, Minnesota where she attended Bemidji State University.
In 2006, Amber graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism and related programs. As a student, she worked as an events coordinator for Unilever and a marketing associate for Atech Scientific Measurement.
Two years later, she went to Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota to earn an MBA with a major in marketing. Prior to graduating in 2010, Amber was hired as an Account Management Intern for Capsule and Associate Brand Manager for Jack Link’s Beef Jerky.
At Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, Leong was promoted to brand manager and given a dull, boring office. While working in the middle of winter, the lack of sun exposure caused her to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which affected her circadian rhythm, sleep and health.
His body’s internal clock was out of whack. She planned to solve this problem by creating a lighting device that could simulate the cycle of the sun, and the end result was circadian optics. The company was officially launched in 2015.
It provided bright light therapy, which has been proven by several studies to be an effective way to treat SAD. Leong’s lamps have a remarkable 70% profit margin, and she earned $4 million in the first few years of her startup.
Shark Tank Appearance
In 2019, Amber Leong entered the Tank during season 11 and demanded $750,000 in exchange for 10% of her business. She arrived with the story of everything her parents sacrificed to give her a better life.
The Sharks were very touched by the story, even Kevin O’Leary started crying. The Sharks were also impressed when the entrepreneur started talking about the success of her product. This caused the Sharks to form two teams.
Kevin O’Leary and Barbara Corcoran have teamed up to offer $750,000 for 20%. Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner donated the same prize but with a $50,000 bonus for Leong’s parents. Mark and Lori’s $50,000 bonus was a good idea and was the deciding factor in getting the deal.
After Shark Tank
The deal Mark and Lori offered was huge for the startup, but unfortunately it never closed and there were no reports that Amber’s parents received the money. Despite the setback, Circadian Optics is still in business.
They now have a wider selection of lamp sizes. Additionally, various retail chains and online stores sell their lamps, including Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy. Despite the pandemic, sales increased as more people spent more time inside their homes.
Leong’s business is thriving and currently generates around $4 million a year. These numbers are expected to increase over time. Currently, Circadian Optics is valued at approximately $7 million.