Clover Health (NASDAQ:CLOV) is in great difficulty. CLOV stock was expected to open March 10 at around $3 per share. That’s a market cap of just under $1.3 billion, which on a revenue of $1.5 million in 2021 sounds abysmal. On an expected 2022 turnover of $3.24 billionhowever, that might not be so bad.

Source: Creators of Wirestock /

Investors are hoping Clover has enrolled enough Medicare Advantage customers, through its Clover Health app, to stay afloat. A loss of only 29 cents per share is expected for the first quarter. That’s about $110 million. At the end of 2021, the company had approximately $300 million in cash.

This will be a short-term thing, given the current economic environment. Investors should be wondering if he has a trick up his sleeve.

Maybe yes.

Google connections

Clover recently hired Conrad Wai as Chief Technology Officer. Wai has a background in computer science and two degrees from Stanford. He also has venture capital experience and worked as a product manager for alphabetical (NASDAQ:GOOGLNASDAQ:GOOG)Google.

He will be report to President Andrew Toy, which developed the Clover Assistant around which the company is built. The program runs on tablets and offers telehealth services to seniors. I’ve written positively about Toy’s vision of managing the chronic diseases that account for the bulk of the US health care bill.

Before starting Clover Health, Toy worked at Google. Before that, he had a start-up called Divide, which helped people separate their professional online life from their personal online life. He sold it to Google.

Google has been trying to get into health care on and off for more than a decade. I remember covering an industry show in 2009 where they pushed electronic health records. They made big predictions that they were going to be a dominant supplier under the Obama administration. They want to come in, but they keep tripping over privacy.

More recently, they dissolved Google Health and its visionary leader, David Feinberg, became CEO of identify (NASDAQ:CERN), the healthcare software company. Cerner was quickly sold to Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).

Where the clover fits

Google Health’s latest vision is built around artificial intelligence and hospital partners like the Mayo Clinic and around FitBitthe fitness watch company she bought A few years earlier. Karen DeSalvo, the new chief health officer, likes to ask if potential acquisitions can be “Google-wide.”

Clover Health can be Google-wide. The company has apparently pulled out 80,000 customers by 2022beating bigger rivals like Cigna (NYSE:THIS) and humane (NYSE:HUM). The Clover Assistant acts as an interface for its customers’ Medicare services and the cash flow enables Clover to offer enhanced services. The problem is that Clover doesn’t have the scale to make a profit.

Toy has its fans. I am one, even though I don’t own any shares. Chelsea Clinton is another. She owns shares. Clover stock still has institutional investors, like InvestorPlace Eddie Pan recently detailed.

Of course, there’s another face to Clover Health, the one I wrote about back in January. This is his experience as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) sponsored by Chamath Palihapitiya, is now on trial to mislead investors on Clover. Apparently he may have used borrowed money to fund his position in Clover, while claiming to have “skin in game.”

The essentials of CLOV shares

I have no knowledge of Alphabet’s interest in Clover Health.

But it would be reasonable that they are interested in it. The company is run by former Googlers, and the software could evolve under Google’s leadership to offer Medicare Advantage plans across the country. Medicare Advantage enrolled 26.4 million people last year, create a $343 billion market.

I think it’s a Google-wide opportunity.

Even if a deal is struck, however, I doubt you’ll get anything like the $22 per share investors were paying for Clover last June. It’s a question of survival. But it is worth considering.

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As of the date of publication, Dana Blankenhorn held a long position in GOOGL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to Publication guidelines.