Malaysian-born Amber Leong started Circadian Optics after nearly dying from the lack of sunlight exposure in the US and has gone on to start three more businesses.
A video that showed a Malaysian woman Amber Leong securing RM3.3 million (US$800,00) and an additional US$50,000 payout for her family on Shark Tank for her business venture has resurfaced again and received admiration from netizens.
While this happened back in 2019, her achievement is still seen as a big deal now. She continues to inspire many people with dreams as she was the first Malaysian entrepreneur to be featured on the reality show where contestants pitch their business ideas to “sharks” (the investors) on the show.
Leong sought investors for her company, Circadian Optics, which makes light therapy lamps that help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm. Her unique selling point was her lamps were designed to be stylish so her products stood apart from the popular therapy lamps in the market at the time.
Leong discovered the benefits of light therapy lamps after she nearly died from toxic shock syndrome due to the lack of sunlight exposure. She was working long hours in Minnesota, a place that already had limited sunlight.
Her story and product caught the eyes of two sharks – Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner – who agreed to a 20:80 deal.
@iamzarl I wanna invest in people that see a field of wishes 💪🏻 #amberleong #sharktank #believe #americandream #barbaracorcoran #kevinoleary #lorigreiner #markcuban #mrwonderful #malaysia #malaysiatiktok #singapore #singaporetiktok #fyp #fypシ #fypシ゚viral #fypage #foryou #foryoupage #foryourpage #xyzbca ♬ original sound – ShaZ – Zarl
Where is Amber Leong now?
Circadian Optics was acquired in 2021 by Thrasio, a company specializing in the acquisition of Amazon businesses. Based on Leong’s LinkedIn profile, she is no longer involved in the company as of December 2021.
Circadian Optics is reportedly still doing well in sales although its Facebook and Instagram pages have not been active since 2021. Customers are now redirected to the company’s Amazon page from its official website.
In 2022, Leong co-founded G-Works Venture Studio, an internal venture studio of General Mills, a global food company. The company focuses on solving big consumer problems related to food using deep market research and agile experimentation.
Based on her Instagram bio, Leong seemed to have jumped back into the lighting business for home decor. She founded Nocturne, a company which makes solar-powered and weatherproof outdoor lamps with Bluetooth speakers in 2022.
She is also the co-founder of Bask Lamp, a company which makes rechargeable and cordless elevated portable lanterns.
Leong, who now runs three businesses, surely lived up to her mantra to “choose creativity over certainty.”
Four years ago, she wrote on Linkedin that she was rejected before on Shark Tank but she tried again. She said she was never afraid of failure but she was terrified of regrets.