Startup companies in need of additional financing are turning to existing investors for funding at record levels, according to an analysis from

According to the Dow Jones publication, some 55 percent of new financings in the fourth quarter of 2008 only included insider investors. That percentage was a sharp jump from 40 percent in the third quarter.

The lack of new investors in additional rounds was even more evident in later-state investments, climbing to 60 percent from 44 percent the previous quarter.

The percentages of deals including only previous investors were the highest since 1998 when VentureSource began compiling such data.

However the investment trend also indicates that , wrote Russ Garland in the Wall Street Journal.

“Venture firms lately have been busy ensuring that portfolio companies are adequately financed to weather the recession, and the data indicate that they are less willing to steer money to other venture-backed companies,” he said. “Firms are also reportedly under pressure from limited partners to tightly control capital calls, which would lead them to look askance at backing the portfolio companies of other VCs.”