Jeff Ma, the former rule-bending MIT blackjack player who was the inspiration for the 2008 Kevin Spacey movie "21," has just sold his startup, TenXer, to Twitter, which he confirmed in a tweet. TechCrunch first reported the acquisition.

The value of the deal is placed at "under $50 million," TechCrunch reports.

"TenXer" refers to the very Silicon Valley idea of "the 10x engineer," one developer who can do the job of 10. Ma's startup provides management software to help developers work together in a better way and put out more stuff faster — the order of the day in big tech companies in all markets.

"When we first started tenXer, our goal was to improve the way people worked by using data and analytics to increase transparency and visibility," Ma said in a farewell note to customers, as TechCrunch's report notes.

TenXer will be shutting its doors as the team moves to work within Twitter. By all indications, the team will be working within the bounds of Twitter itself, but there's always the possibility that it'll make the TenXer tools available to outsiders as part of its outreach to help others build on top of the Twitter platform.

Ma has an interesting background. At MIT, he participated in its infamous Blackjack Team, which counted cards in Las Vegas for massive financial gain. He was the central character in the nonfiction book "Bringing Down the House," in which he is renamed Kevin Lewis, and in the movie based on it, "21," where he was given the name Ben Campbell (played by Jim Sturgess).

In this clip from "21," Ma's character meets Kevin Spacey's for the first time:




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