Fluorescence imaging is a powerful tool in biomedical research. It has been frequently used to uncover or better understand physiological mechanisms in disease-related processes such as cancer. The majority of chromophores used for imaging are based on a 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY) scaffold. However, their applications are limited due to their poor water solubility as well as poor cancer cell selectivity. To circumvent these drawbacks, we present herein the use of bis(dipyrrinato)zinc(II) complexes. As this class of compounds is associated with a quenching effect of the excited state in water, the lead compound of this study (3) was encapsulated in a polymer matrix with biotin as a targeting moiety (3-NP). This encapsulation improved the water solubility, overcame the quenching effects in water, as well as allowed selective accumulation in the lysosomes with a bright fluorescence signal in monolayer cells as well as 3D multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS). As a benefit from the biotin targeting moiety, the nanoparticles were majorly taken up by the sodium dependent multivitamin transporter (SMVT) which is overexpressed in various cancers cells and selectively accumulated in cancerous cells over noncancerous cells.