TopGuest, which launched last week, syncs with any geo-location service — including foursquare,¬†Gowalla, Yelp, Loopt, Brightkite, Google Buzz, Google Latitude, Twitter and soon Facebook — and will give you bonus rewards points from participating hotels and airlines or deals from area clubs and restaurants.
Some of the loyalty program partners will give consumers bonus points wherever they check-in and others will provide points only when you check-in from one of their properties, TopGuest says.
TopGuest founder and CEO Geoffrey Lewis may have some insight into Facebook’s much-hyped plan to introduce a geo-location check-in service of its own — one that could give foursquare and Gowalla a run for their money.
Lewis says TopGuest will be integrated with Facebook’s check-in service when it launches “next month.”
Later, when asked about it again, he said Facebook’s service is expected to be introduced “within three months.”
TopGuest presumably has some insight into Facebook’s timing and intentions.
That’s because¬†Founders Fund, which was among the first investors in Facebook, is the lead investor in TopGuest, and Founders Fund managing partner Peter Thiel, who sits on the Facebook board, is among TopGuest’s key advisors.
Consumers don’t have to download or install any software to use TopGuest. They merely have to register on the TopGuest mobile website or TopGuest.com, provide information about their loyalty programs, and then TopGuest syncs with the programs when users check-in at a participating hotel.
TopGuest then drops the bonus points from participating hotel-rewards programs into consumers’ accounts, although the delay can be up to 48 hours, the company says.
TopGuest has an exclusive hotel partner, Standard Hotels, until the beginning of July, and then will announce partnerships with “three of the largest hotel loyalty programs in the world,” Lewis says.
TopGuest is also in the business of powering points programs for boutique hotels such as Standard, which didn’t previously have a loyalty program.
So, when consumers use Gowalla or other geo-location services to inform their social networks they are sipping a Martini in the lobby of a hotel partner, they may receive 25 bonus points from the hotel and also receive invitations to a popular area club or to a wine tasting, Lewis says.
TopGuest also intends to provide business intelligence to hotel partners and loyalty programs.
The startup will be able to tell HiltonHonors that 20% of their members stay at a competitor’s property when visiting Dallas, for instance, Lewis says, adding that the data would not be personally identifiable.