Circadian Optics in 2020: Shark Tank update after $750k deal with Cuban and Greiner



Humans are not meant to live in darkness, but today’s working hours are unable to follow regular hours anymore.

If you have an 8-to-5 corporate job or if you work at night, you’re likely not getting enough sunlight. This messes with your circadian rhythm (basically, your sleep-wake cycle) and leads to a lack of sleep, mental sluggishness, and weight gain, among others. 

Wouldn’t it be great to have the sun with you when and where you need it? Now you can, with Circadian Optics. The company was featured in Season 11 of the TV show Shark Tank and was able to secure an investment deal from one of the Sharks.

What happened to Circadian Optics after the Shark Tank episode aired? Is the company still in business today? How much is Circadian Optics worth now? Find out below what happened next to the company after Shark Tank.

What is Circadian Optics?

Shark Tank update on Circadian Optics

Circadian Optics are light therapy lamps that bring the sun into your room whenever you need it.

The LED technology used in the lamps mimics the color and brightness of daylight to help maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Its compact and stylish design makes it look great for the office desk.

Circadian Optics’ light therapy lamps not only help with fixing circadian rhythm, the company claims, but also stimulate the release of serotonin in the brain. Exposure to sunlight-like light helps people diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, especially those with mild symptoms of “winter blues.”

How did Circadian Optics start?

Circadian Optics founder Amber Long, originally from Malaysia, was able to pursue her Finance degree in the United States with the help of her parents. She wanted to give back to her family so she went on to work tirelessly in a finance job in Minnesota. 

Her work hours, extensive screen time, and minimal exposure to sunlight working in a dark office started to affect her sleep and her health. She found light therapy and bought a light therapy lamp. It helped her feel better and become healthy again. However, the lamp she had was so bulky and cumbersome, her coworkers teased her a lot about it. That’s when she saw the opportunity to fill a gap in the market. She decided to design light therapy lights that are stylish, compact, and portable.

Long founded Circadian Optics Light Therapy with her husband in 2016. Since then, the company’s lifetime sales have been $7.4 million. Before appearing on the show, their projected sales was $5.6 million. 

What were the Sharks’ offers for Circadian Optics?

The Circadian Optics founder walked into the Shark Tank asking for $750,000 in exchange for 10% equity in her company.

She began her pitch by sharing her life story and what inspired her to start the company. After surviving a life-threatening condition, it motivated her to do something courageous with her second chance in life. She decided to choose creativity over certainty. Leong’s inspiring story brought Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’ Leary, to tears.

The Sharks unanimously commended Leong for her bravery. Shark Mark Cuban told Leong: “You represent why we all do this show… It doesn’t matter where you come from, if you put your mind into it, anything is possible. You represent everything great about entrepreneurship, the American dream, you are freedom. So thank you for sharing that with us.”

Going back to discussing the business, Leong revealed that in the prior year, Circadian Optics’ sales were $4 million with a 70% profit margin. 

When Shark Lori Greiner asked Leong why, given a profitable company, she still needed a Shark, she answered, “I am here because I am looking for a strategic partner that can help take my company to the next level.”

Leong further talked about her desire to take her company to retail instead of selling exclusively online. She said that retail is a completely different ball game from selling online. Then Shark Barbara Corcoran asked what she needed the money for. Leong explained that the money will be used for inventory.

Guest Shark Rohan Oza told Leong that he can’t see what value he could provide to her as a partner, and with that, he opted out. 

Greiner wanted to make an offer on the condition that another Shark, Mark Cuban, would do it with her. After a quick conference, they were back with an offer of $750,000 for 20% equity since they’re two Sharks.

Circadian Optics light therapy business update after Shark Tank

The Circadian Optics founder took the first offer in stride and asked for the other Sharks for their offers. Sharks Kevin O’Leary and Barbara Corcoran said they would match the same offer as Cuban and Greiner. He further explained that their connections can help her double her sales and even help a lot in manufacturing.

Greiner then interjected saying she and Cuban are willing to throw in an extra $50,000 for Leong’s parents on top of the $750,000. 

Did Circadian Optics get a deal on Shark Tank?

Yes, Circadian Optics was able to get a deal on Shark Tank with both Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner. Actually, founder Amber Leong got much more than what she asked for.

If the additional $50,000 was Greiner’s and Mark’s strategy to close the deal with Leong, it worked. This was on top of their offer of $750,000 for 20% equity in the Circadian Optics company. Ecstatic, she accepted Greiner and Cuban’s offer and thanked them with a big hug.

“I know I should negotiate and be a good business partner,” Leong happily exclaimed. “But I am here for Lori and Mark! Both of you, you have a deal!”

What happened to Circadian Optics after Shark Tank?

The Circadian Optics founder was able to close a deal on the episode of Shark Tank in season 11. However, after the episode, it was revealed that the deal with Sharks Greiner and Cuban did not push through. The reason why the deal fell through is yet to be disclosed. 

Since appearing on the 11th season of Shark Tank, however, Circadian Optics has garnered a lot of good publicity. The light therapy company has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and many others.

Is Circadian Optics still in business today?

Yes, Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamps is still in business today. After being featured on Shark Tank, they have since released more lamp designs. The lamps can be purchased on Amazon and on their official website.

How much is Circadian Optics worth now?

Amber Leong stated in the Shark Tank episode that her company, Circadian Optics Light Therapy has a valuation of $7.4 million.

Currently, the net worth of the company in the year 2020 is undeclared. But based on her declared estimate sales for 2019 of $5.6 million, the company could now be around $13 million.

Lessons from Circadian Optics on Shark Tank

The Sharks were very impressed by Leong’s presentation. By the end of her pitch and successfully closing the deal, the Sharks were applauding. 

Amber Leong started her pitch by presenting the problem of the side effects of not having enough exposure to sunlight. Then, instead of making scientific claims, she talked about how light therapy worked for her. She was able to clearly present the problem and how her product is the solution for it.

When asked about the valuation of her company, Leong gave the Sharks her company’s lifetime sales. Oza asked for the annual sales, Corcoran asked for sale venues and average sales–she was able to provide all information. She had an answer to all of their questions.

Under pressure, Leong was able to graciously answer all the questions from the Sharks. She was poised even when they were all talking at the same time.

She was able to control the conversation when two or more Sharks were throwing questions at her at the same time. The Sharks were impressed by the numbers and her composure. She definitely followed what Mark Cuban always says, “No balls, no babies!”

About the Author

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