A fluorescent dye, FEB, with high fluorescence quantum yield for tumour imaging is reported. FEB dyes can be efficiently synthesized in three steps and then easily modified with either PEG or PEG-iRGD to yield FEB-2000 or FEB-2000-iRGD, respectively. Both modified dyes showed negligible toxicity and were thus able to be adopted for in vivo tumour imaging. PEG modification endowed the dye FEB-2000 with both long circulating times and good tumour targeting properties in a MDA-MB-231 xenograft model. Further conjugation with iRGD to generate FEB-2000-iRGD showed minimal targeting enhancement. These results provide a template for the efficient preparation of FEB dyes for use in tumour imaging, thus providing a foundation for future modifications.